In recent years, school leaders have faced a constant need to innovate and respond to rapidly changing conditions in their communities, our nation, and our world. Now we're all seeking ways to bring healing and strength to our school communities as we move forward. But what else can we learn from these challenging times, and what inspiration can we draw for the future of schools?
The NAIS New View EDU podcast supports school leaders in finding those new possibilities and understanding that evolving challenges require compassionate and dynamic solutions.
In the first four seasons of New View EDU, we discovered that student agency is critical to creating thriving school communities. In Season 5, we'll explore how two more essential ingredients—creativity and innovation—support agency-rich environments and make independent schools schools places where students and educators want to be. NAIS Chief Innovation Officer Tim Fish will be joined by innovative leaders and thinkers to tackle arts-based education, achievement pressures, blended learning, the concept of "creative hustle," and more as we continue to ponder the question: What is the purpose of school in our rapidly changing world?
Find New View EDU on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and many other podcast apps.
Looking for more NAIS podcasts? Listen to Member Voices for stories from the thoughtful, hard-working individuals who make up the independent school community.
New! Season 5 Episodes
Season 5 kicks off with a conversation with new NAIS President Debra P. Wilson. In this first school year of Debra’s tenure, she sits down with Tim Fish to introduce herself to the NAIS community and share her personal journey with independent schools.
Beginning with a family background that prioritized education, and moving through both public and independent schools, Debra grew to seek personal growth and challenges that would take her far from her small-town New England roots. Her career in law first brought her to NAIS as general counsel; from there, she moved on to lead the Southern Association of Independent Schools, before returning to NAIS as the new president. As she begins her tenure, Debra says that the evolving purpose of school is one of the things that most excites her about stepping into the president’s role. “Education now really is about educating and helping grow the whole child, more so than it’s ever been.”
Delving into what growing “whole people” might look like in schools, Debra and Tim discuss centering well-being and helping students prioritize human connection. Ultimately, Debra says, what she looks for in school communities is a culture that helps prioritize connectivity and a sense of belonging, or “mattering.”
Season 4 Episodes
In four seasons of New View EDU, we’ve talked a lot about what students need to thrive. In the Season 4 finale, we’re going straight to the source to learn more. Host Tim Fish sits down with Ella Cornett (right) and Mackenzie Link, high school students from One Stone School in Boise, Idaho, to get their real-world perspectives on everything from classes and schedules to life lessons on failure, accountability, passion, purpose, and more.
Starting with One Stone School’s foundational statement “We believe in the power of students,” Ella and Mackenzie detail the differences they’ve experienced between traditional settings and the empowering culture at Lab51, the One Stone high school experience. Ella is currently a student lead on the admissions team, and Mackenzie is the board chair—two powerful positions that would not be possible for high school students at most schools. They share that the school’s charter as a nonprofit organization not only allows, but mandates, deeply entrenched student leadership of the institution.
After a long and distinguished tenure as the president of NAIS, Donna Orem is retiring in the summer of 2023. Throughout her career, she has seen the independent school landscape, and education in general, change dramatically. As Donna prepares to depart NAIS, what lessons has she learned? How has her career in education changed her? What wisdom can she pass along to her successor and to everyone working in schools right now?
Donna joins host Tim Fish for a conversation about her 40 years in education, as well as a frank look at the challenges and opportunities ahead for independent schools. Building on the major theme of community, Donna shares her perspective on everything from lifelong learning to polarization—and how independent schools can rise to meet these challenges in the future.One of Donna’s major lessons for educators is to lean into community through listening, care, humility, and openness to new ideas.
Planning for the future of our schools isn’t easy. In recent years, we’ve seen firsthand how even the best-laid plans can go awry, and schools have been left grappling with issues that no one could have predicted. So how can we continue to embrace strategy and futures thinking in a way that allows us to not only make plans, but execute on them, in the midst of an ever-changing landscape?
Jim Honan joins host Tim Fish for an in-depth conversation about the importance of strategy, accountability, and clarity of vision in the world of independent schools. As a board member of NAIS, faculty member of the NAIS Institute for New Heads, and senior associate director of the Advanced Leadership Institute at Harvard University, Jim is uniquely positioned to speak on the various challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for school leaders. He brings his insights and experience to an incisive and direct discussion about what schools need to plan effectively for the future.
Schools are first and foremost communities of people. When planning for the future of those communities, how can we do so in a way that takes into account the dignity of every human being? Beth-Sarah Wright’s “dignity lens” challenges schools to look at themselves with clear eyes and identify the gap between who they say we are and who they truly want to become.
Beth-Sarah shares her dignity lens framework with host Tim Fish in an episode packed with gentle, incisive, thought-provoking guidance for school leaders. Starting with her journey from teaching in higher education to working in enrollment management at an independent school, Beth-Sarah shares her realization that the reason many stated priorities and initiatives falter within school communities is that they reflect a gap between the school’s stated mission and its true identity. Solving that challenge requires courage and introspection, and Beth-Sarah’s dignity lens is a framework for strategy that helps lead communities through the difficult task of clarifying who they really are.
No one can deny that the events of 2020 changed education. But three years after COVID-19 closed schools, what is the state of our education system? What lessons did we learn, and what mistakes have we made? What opportunities lie ahead for transformation?
In this episode, Michael B. Horn returns to New View EDU to discuss his new book about education after the pandemic, From Reopen to Reinvent. Michael joins host Tim Fish to share his thoughts on how schools have chosen one of two paths since 2020: either open back up and get back to business as usual, or forge a new way forward out of the complexity of the moment. Contrasting the different approaches, he identifies this as a moment of great optimism and opportunity for many independent school communities, which have the flexibility to create and innovate.
Michael is the co-founder and distinguished fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, a nonprofit think tank, and an adjunct lecturer at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Social-emotional learning and student well-being are increasingly showing up as priorities for schools. But what if research could prove that looking out for the emotional components of teaching and learning aren’t just important for mental health, but actually essential for academic growth? That’s the central premise of Mary Helen Immordino-Yang’s research, and she’s ready to make the case that emotions are vitally linked to our ability to learn.
Mary Helen joins host Tim Fish for an episode packed with fascinating findings from her work at CANDLE, the Center for Affective Neuroscience, Development, Learning, and Education at the University of Southern California. Mary Helen and her team have spent years exploring not just the mechanics and outcomes of learning, but the emotional and neurobiological experience of learning. Through deep, multi-faceted research conducted with students and teachers, Mary Helen has discovered inextricable links between the way a person experiences and views their role in education, and the efficacy of their learning and development.
What if offering to work on a few projects with a homeschooled student sparked the idea to partner with a school? And what if then, groups of students started asking to make that project-based learning model their entire high school experience? That’s what happened when Saeed Arida, a doctoral student in the architecture department at MIT, tried running a design studio with a handful of kids. The result was NuVu, a unique studio education model that’s catching on worldwide.
In this episode, Saeed joins host Tim Fish to share the journey and philosophy behind NuVu, and how removing most of the expected conventions of a high school education—like classes, traditional grading systems, and tests—has resulted in a thriving project-based learning model that’s unlike any other. In the studio, Saeed says, nothing begins with content. Everything begins with a problem, and from that problem flows the seeds of ideas.
Orly Friedman was in the fifth grade when she read the book that changed her life. The story, about a child who floundered in traditional school environments but thrived in an unconventional setting, inspired Orly to dream of opening her own non-traditional school one day. In this episode, she shares her successful journey as the founder of Red Bridge School, an innovative educational setting for young learners that centers around student agency and autonomy.
Orly sits down with host Tim Fish to talk about her lifelong passion, and the hard work and vision that led to creating Red Bridge. Based on the research of the late professor Albert Bandura, Orly and her team conceived of an elementary school model that’s wildly different from the traditional system. Decoupling academic ability and level from “autonomy level”—a student’s readiness to set and achieve goals, demonstrate accountability, and evaluate their own learning and work habits—has helped create a school where progress is about much more than passing a unit test or aging up to the next grade.
Trust kids. That’s the takeaway from public school educator-turned nonprofit founder Chris McNutt, whose work at the Human Restoration Project aims to revolutionize teacher and student well-being. What would schools look like if we designed an educational system around trust? How could student agency and teacher creativity become pillars of a progressive, future-focused education? And how do we get there?
Chris joins host Tim Fish for an in-depth conversation about his journey from teacher to changemaker, and why he believes all schools—public and independent—could benefit from a little bit of “chaos.” His nonprofit organization offers resources, writings, tools, and training to help educators break free of the restrictive mindsets they may have about curriculum and classroom management.
The hottest conversation in education right now revolves around ChatGPT. What is it, how is it being used, and what does it mean for our traditional systems of teaching and learning? Season 4 begins with a discussion about the rapid evolution of artificial Intelligence and the impact ChatGPT and other AI innovations will have on the future of schools. Host Tim Fish sits down with educational innovators Christina Lewellen, of ATLIS, and Paul Turnbull, head of school at Mid-Pacific Institute, to dig deep into what ChatGPT means for schools. Is it just the next evolution of search? A tool for cheating and plagiarism? Something to ban and fear, or something to embrace and build upon?
As a “game changing” technology, ChatGPT is a sign of things to come. Viewed as a tool of collaboration, partnership, brainstorming, idea generation, and editing, it has the potential to unleash new forms of creativity from both students and educators. It's a wake-up call to school leaders that the world in which we live, and the world for which we are preparing our students, is rapidly changing.
Archives: Episodes and Resources from Past Seasons