Learning starts with knowing who we are: A conversation with Devin Vodicka, Ed.D | Benjamin Freud

In this episode of the Coconut Thinking podcast, I speak with Devin Vodicka, CEO of the Learner-Centered Collaborative, former CEO of Altitude Learning, and author of “Learner-Centered Leadership.” You will probably have come across Devin’s writings, talks, and thoughts as he is as deep a thinker as he is a prolific creator. Devin contributes so much to the conversation about what it means to be a leader inside and outside schools, how we can think and re-think assessment to be more learner-centered, and the role of identity in the process of learning. Oh yeah, and he knows a thing or two about quantum mechanics. We discuss:

• How the ways we have used to measure learning have impeded possibilities for learning;

• How knowing who we are is essential to the process of learning, but there are many ways to define “we;”

• How social connections need to power new ways of thinking, leaving egos behind.

Join us for another episode, check out our blog on www.coconut-thinking.design, and if you like what you hear, follow us and leave a rating.

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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