Emergent Learning: Unpredictable Growth (Summer Series) | Benjamin Freud, Ph.D. | 11 Min Read

July 31, 2023

No two journeys are ever alike, because no two pupils are ever alike —Daniel Quinn

I spent the best two months of my life during the summer of 2019. I’m not suggesting it was the easiest or most relaxing summer—in fact, the hardships and strains were part of what made these two months an extraordinary experience. I can never recreate that experience because my children will never be 13 and 9 again.

During the summer of 2019, my family (wife Charlotte, children Nico and Alexia) filled our travel backpacks with enough clothes and amenities to last seven days and set off on a seven-week Eurorail trip from Edinburgh, Scotland to Sofia, Bulgaria. Eleven countries in total. This was a weird intergenerational twist on adventures you usually associate with college friends on tour. I’d never done anything like this before and my children certainly hadn’t. None of us knew what to expect. We were free to choose our own adventure, and the only stipulations were the need to keep costs down and to find laundry facilities every six days. Not insurmountable.

It didn’t start out very well. Before we left, Alexia felt overwhelmed by…

Register Now
You may use your member school or partner discount code !!!

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.