Chapter 2, Schools As Places Of Becoming: The Incipient System | Benjamin Freud, Ph.D. | 13 Min Read

April 14, 2022

This is the second installment of a longer series, a long conversation (Chapter 1 can be found here). It builds on the idea that there is no one future of education because we are all on our own journeys, and that includes schools. What are the forces that are already designing a new system of education, of learning? What will it take to be part of the creation of this system? What will it take for us to shift our values to thrive in the new learning system?

When the relationships that form a system rapidly unravel, the system undergoes a critical transition from which a new state emerges, with new feedback loops that stabilize the system. This can happen when external forces make it impossible for the old system to continue or when internal forces re-design the feedback loops*. When either or both of these events happen, it is nearly impossible to go back, a phenomenon known as hysteresis. There is often a time lag between the emergence of the new system and our awareness that things have changed. One system that fits this description is education, specifically schools.

Living systems are complex…

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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.