Instruction is overvalued: A Conversation with Gary Stager, Ph.D. | Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

May 20, 2022

In this episode, I speak with Gary Stager, Ph.D. Since 1982, Dr. Gary Stager has helped school educators around the world embrace computational technology as an intellectual laboratory, vehicle for self-expression, and window onto a world of possibilities for amplifying the potential of each student in preparation for an uncertain future. All of his work is rooted in the Piagetian notion that “knowledge is a consequence of experience.” His activities with teachers and students are guided by a focus on learning-by-doing. He is also the founder of Constructing Modern Knowledge. In this episode, we discuss:

  • How schools have an obligation to introduce kids to things they don’t yet know they love, but then that becomes their project, and it’s not driven by the curriculum;
  • How a good prompt that can fit on a post-it note is sometimes all you need for creativity to thrive;
  • How we have oversold instruction;
  • How the only thing we ever have to justify are the things kids love.

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Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

Benjamin Freud, Ph.D. is the co-founder of Coconut Thinking, which creates learning and action experiences where all learners have a common purpose; positive impact on the welfare of the bio-collective — any living thing, sentient or plant, that has an interest in the healthfulness of the planet. Benjamin also works as the Whole School Leader of Learning and Teaching at an International School in Thailand. He was the Academic Coordinator at Misk Schools, which, as the school of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is 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, and now Thailand. 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 entrepreneurialism.

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