TTT#302 Creating a National Collective Voice of Young People with Charlie Kouns, David Loitz and amazing young voices! 6.13.12

On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers we talk with Charles Kouns and David Loitz and a wonderful panel of students about the listening sessions Charlie and David create for teens to raise their voices on school change. The student voices you hear on this podcast are Sierra Goldstein, Jay Smith Chisley, Mackenzie Amara, Nikhil Goyal, Kelsey Shelhart

Sierra Goldstein's profile photoDavid Loitz's profile photoCharles Kouns's profile photoJay Smith Chisley's profile photoMackenzie Amara's profile photoNikhil Goyal's profile photoTrevor Shelhart's profile photo

We invite you to be reminded of the importance of starting with youth voices when we consider what to do next as educators.
(Quickest way to get in touch with David and Charlie)

Our conversation on this podcast is about how important it is to listen to students, and we learn more about David and Charlie's methods of doing that. David Loitz writes:

Charlie's focus is in helping to bring the voices and visions of youth people to a national stage. He is both a teacher and an visionary. He is a dear friend and mentor. He created Imagining Leaning four years ago, and has traveled up and down the west coast and as far as New Zealand to host listening session with groups of young people.
(Many amazing images here, and a place to donate.)

David Loitz [ ], a passionate lover of education, film, basketball, food and life. He is currently working towards his Masters in Holistic Elementary Education at Goddard College. He writes and organizes at Adventures In Learning [ ] and on the Cooperative Catalyst [ ], @dloitz.

Charles Kouns [], @Penthias, the Founding Steward of Imagining Learning, an educator and the father of three. Imagining Learning [ ] is creating a national portrait of young people’s wisdom on the reinvention of education. Learn more about Charlie's vision on the Cooperative Catalyst.


Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.


David Loitz: Hey all
20:53Paul Allison: Welcome!
21:04Brent Snavely: Howdy
21:10Sheri Edwards: Is the video playing?
21:11Brent Snavely: Sheri, hit the 'play' icon above the chat frame
21:12Sheri Edwards: I found it and am listening to a lovely young lady :) Thanks
21:12David Loitz: hi
21:15fred: Hi all, no video?
21:15Sheri Edwards: I found the video here:
21:29Brent Snavely: Are the youths that become involved volunteers, and if so, does that set them apart, ab initio, as exceptional or exceptions to the 'norm'?
21:31David Loitz: hmm interesting questions
21:38Sheri Edwards: Wouldn't it be nice if teachers were allowed the time and freedom to encourage students to explore their interests. But, as she says, the system doesn't allow that anymore -- Teachers will soon be fired if their students don't pass the tests. So how do these young people help change that culture and expectation?
21:41David Loitz: I think listening sessions for teachers would be just as powerful.
21:41Sheri Edwards: Exactly. We're limiting our futures by limiting our students, controlling the bits they are learning, instead of helping them learn the bits through the larger issues and themes in which kids are interested.
21:42David Loitz: I will ask the group
21:43Brent Snavely: Sheri -- I was "encouraged" to take an alternate path by a teacher who provided me with a book on alternative educational paths -- I dropped out of HS and into college.
21:44David Loitz: hope that help get your voice out there.. :)
21:44Sheri Edwards: Yes, I understand. I am moving back to projects in the classroom so students have more options and can create rather than regurgitate.
21:47Sheri Edwards: I think eighth grade is a critical year to allow students to explore their own passions, to find mentors, and experience as much as possible.
21:52Chev: This is great stuff!
21:53JR: Good old fashion honest debate perfect
21:54Sheri Edwards: We are doing "to" students instead of listening to and and working with students. We teach programs, not pupils. We've forgotten why we educate -- to lead out. That means we need to know what the student needs and wants if we want to lead them.
21:55Sheri Edwards: Do you think?
21:56Sheri Edwards: I love this, but, in reality, teachers have little choice.
21:56JR: Can you expand on that?
21:56Sheri Edwards: On the "little choice" or ???
21:57Brent Snavely: David, You mentioned fear, and I wonder if adults fear that youths perceive they are being lied to, i.e., that competitng in a zero-sum game based on a bell curve is likely to result in the majority of them not being able to grab the golden ring?
21:58Sheri Edwards: On the lead out? Kids do have great ideas, and need guidance in accomplishing them.
21:58David Loitz: I think that is there
21:59JR: Great teachers solves any problem. they always do
21:59Sheri Edwards: I like the idea of a policy paper from them.
21:59JR: This maybe a complete tangent but thoughts on voucher system?
22:00Sheri Edwards: Love the imaginelearning: "always more" and "chance"
22:01Sheri Edwards: Don't vouchers does redistribute children? Why not change what is -- go into the schools and say, "Let's let kids lead." Fix what's there -- keep the neighborhood schools. Vouchers will cause other problems, don't you think?
22:01Sheri Edwards: I meant Don't vouchers just redistribute children?
22:02JR: But i like the idea of creating a completive environment for schools to succeed and eliminates some income disparities by allowing poor children higher education
22:04Sheri Edwards: If we change the schools poor children attend, that would help. If you move them out of their neighborhood school, don't we eliminate the community feeling? community gatherings?
22:05Sheri Edwards: Competition works in some places, but in schools, teachers who are able to collaborate and share ideas -- instead of keeping their best to themselves in order to succeed--- collaboration builds on ideas, just like what these kids are saying.
22:06Sheri Edwards: Our science teacher and I developed an integrated language arts/ science project where students had all the choice of their project and presentation.
22:06JR: Yes i feel that as well. Another food for thought I spent a semester researching year round education and i think its great thoughts?
22:07Sheri Edwards: Personally, I would be exhausted. My summer began today and here I am being energized by this session.
22:08Sheri Edwards: I also give so much during the school year, that I need the summer to be with my family. But that's just me.
22:09Sheri Edwards: "The youth voice will be at the top of America" I l love it.
22:11JR: Amen
22:16David Loitz: Sheri, Feel free to email me at [email protected]
22:16David Loitz: Love to follow up on some of your questions