Centralizing the Arts to Liberate Learning: An interview with Jane Bryant | Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

In this episode of the Coconut Thinking podcast, I speak with Jane Bryant, former CEO of Artswork, the U.K.’s national youth arts development agency, formerly chaired by Ken Robinson. Now a consultant, Jane works in the cultural sector, aiming to work with clients from arts, creative and cultural organizations, the education sector, funders, and local authorities. Much of her work focuses on increasing access, especially for children and young people. In this episode, we discuss:

  • How the Arts can help us develop so much that can be transferred to other parts of our lives;
  • How reducing education to assessment and sidelining the affective does a great disservice to us as individuals and a society;
  • How the Arts and creative practice can be centralized in schools.

I take the phrase “liberating learning” from Santiago Rincón-Gallardo and I don’t think there could be a better use of the phrase than when considering the connection between the Arts and creativity in schools.

You can also check out our web site on www.coconut-thinking.design and we look forward to your thoughts and comments.

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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.