How do learning and success emerge from local contexts? A Coconut Thinking podcast with Kau’i Sang | Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

August 5, 2022

In this episode, I speak with Dawn Kau’i Sang. Kau’i is the first-ever director of the Office of Hawaiian Education, which is charged with planning for the implementation of a new policy, Nā Hopena Aʻo (Ha). Ha is a Department-wide framework to develop the skills, behaviors and dispositions that are reminiscent of Hawaii’s unique context, and to honor the qualities and values of the indigenous language and culture of Hawai’i. One of the goals is to strengthen six outcomes in every student over the course of their K-12 learning journey: Belonging, Responsibility, Excellence, Aloha, Total well-being, Hawai’i… which spells BREATH. In this episode, we ask:

🥥 What is belonging in a system that seeks to homogenize and separate?

🥥 How might stories allow us to see each other and our community in different ways, beyond quantitative measures?

🥥 How might indigenous ways of knowing inform who we are as individuals, communities, and education systems?

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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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