Agency is not about giving students choice: A conversation with Larissa Raymond | Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

October 14, 2021

In this episode, I speak with Larissa Raymond. Larissa is a designer and leader of professional learning at EdPartnerships International. Prior to joining EdP she was a Head of Teaching and Learning at Caulfield Grammar School. Larissa has extensive experience supporting teachers to design and trial new forms of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. Larissa pushes us to ask questions from different perspectives, including what can’t be seen. She speaks thoughtfully about what agency really is (beyond the catchword) and what power relations are at play in any context. In this episode, we discuss:

🥥 How agency is a space to be realized;

🥥 How we might stick with the dialogue with young people to nurture trust and release creative energy;

🥥 Remaining deeply curious about others (all living and non-living things, including place) to we can move forward together.

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Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

Benjamin Freud, Ph.D. is the co-founder of Coconut Thinking, an advisory that supports schools and learning organizations to co-create, co-develop, co-stress test, and co-implement ideas that nurture the conditions for emergent learning. Benjamin is also the Head of Upper School at Green School, Bali. He was previously the Whole School Leader of Learning and Teaching at Prem Tinsulanonda International School in Thailand. He was the Academic Coordinator at Misk Schools, one of the most prestigious and high-profile school in the kingdom. In 2018-2019, he was also the Head of Upper Primary and Middle School at Misk. Prior to this, he was Vice-Principal of the Middle School and High School at the Harbour School in Hong Kong. He holds a Ph.D. in History, an MSc in Education, an MBA, an MA in International Relations, and a BA in International Affairs. Benjamin was born and grew up in Paris, France. He moved to the U.S. when he was 15 and spent 11 years there in different cities before living in the U.K., Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and now Bali, Indonesia. He started his career in consulting for Internet start-ups in Silicon Valley in the late 1990s, working with people whose ambitions were no less than to change the world. This experience had a profound effect on Benjamin's outlook on education, innovation, and entrepreneurship.