The Decomposition of school and regeneration of learning: A conversation with Maggie Favretti | Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

August 26, 2022

In this episode, I speak with Maggie Favretti. Maggie Favretti has spent over 35 years happily helping her students to ask, “why not now?” Maggie has won scholarship and teaching awards from three professional historical organizations (WHA, AHA, OAH), a national organization of bankers (Sallie Mae Foundation Teacher of the Year), and a national organization of student leaders (21st-century Teacher of the Year). She has been recognized by President Obama for her work in environmental education, and by the Sousa Mendes Foundation’s Freedom Award for her work facilitating the next generation of rescuers, Students for Refugees. By far her greatest joy has been devising opportunities for students (and teacher-facilitators) to tap into their innate creativity, resourcefulness, and collaboration across disciplines, using design thinking to solve complex problems in their own communities and beyond. In this episode we discuss:

🥥 How learning is a function of time, which might be thought of cyclically, as birth and death;

🥥 The degenerative effect the race for “success” has had on education, which might be the opportunity some of us are looking for; and

🥥 How love and relationships are teachers’ superpowers.

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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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