Blended Learning Expert Heather Staker on Student-Centered Lessons During COVID-19

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and Cara talk with Heather Staker, founder and president of Ready to Blend. They discuss her work with the late Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen and Michael Horn on disruptive innovation and schooling, as well as her book, Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools, and her recent publication, Developing a student-centered workforce through micro-credentials. They review the K-12 American public education system’s response to students’ instructional needs before and during COVID-19, the benefits and challenges of digital schooling that have come to light as a result, and the dangers of returning to the pre-pandemic status quo. They talk about some lessons drawn from other countries on digital and blended learning for American policymakers and educators. Staker also explains the benefits of diverse approaches to content mastery, including one-on-one mentoring, and opportunities for students to work both independently and collaboratively.

Stories of the Week: Declines in science scores from the 2019 administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, especially pronounced among lower-performing students, could point to struggles with reading comprehension. In Illinois, Governor Pritzker is threatening to significantly reduce state tax incentives for donations to the ‘Invest in Kids’ tax credit scholarship program, which has helped 22,000 low-income children attend private schools.

The next episode will air on Wednesday, June 9th, 2021 at 12 pm ET with guest, Dr. Glenn Loury, the Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of Economics at Brown University.

Guest:

Heather Staker is the founder and president of Ready to Blend. She is co-author of the Amazon bestseller Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools, as well as The Blended Workbook and the popular report How to Create Higher Performing, Happier Classrooms in Seven Moves: A Playbook for Teachers. Her latest publication is Developing a student-centered workforce through micro-credentials, published by the Christensen Institute. Heather has been a featured presenter in hundreds of radio, television, and live events worldwide and in legislative hearings in the United States as a spokesperson for student-centered learning. As the founder of Ready to Blend, Heather leads a team of 150 facilitators in the United States, Middle East, and South America who have been certified to deliver blended-learning workshops to their teachers. Prior to this role, Heather was a senior research fellow for the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation and a strategy consultant for McKinsey & Company. She served for one year as the student member of the California State Board of Education during Governor Pete Wilson’s administration, taught U.S. history as a teaching fellow at Harvard College, founded a co-op preschool, and marketed Oil of Olay for Proctor & Gamble. She holds a BA magna cum laude in government from Harvard University and an MBA with distinction from the Harvard Business School. She is the mother of five children and lives in Austin, Texas.

Tweet of the Week:

News Links:

NAEP Science Scores Down for Fourth-Graders, Flat for Older Students; Are Reading Challenges to Blame?

https://www.the74million.org/article/naep-science-scores-down-for-fourth-graders-flat-for-older-students-are-reading-challenges-to-blame/

IL school choice advocates push to keep tax credit scholarship program alive

https://www.wcia.com/illinois-capitol-news/school-choice-advocates-push-to-keep-tax-credit-scholarship-program-alive/

Get new episodes of The Learning Curve in your inbox!

Recent Episodes:

“Call Me Ishmael” Melville Scholar Prof. Hershel Parker on Moby-Dick & Classic Literature

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and guest co-host Kerry McDonald, senior education fellow with the Foundation for Economic Education, are joined by Hershel Parker, the H. Fletcher Brown professor emeritus at the University of Delaware and the definitive biographer of the 19th-century American novelist, Herman Melville.

NYT #1 Best-Selling Science Author, Dava Sobel on Copernicus, Galileo’s Daughter, & Astronomy

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Dava Sobel, a former New York Times science reporter, and author of Longitude, Galileo’s Daughter, and Letters to Father. Dava describes what inspired her interest in some of the most gifted mathematicians and astronomers in history, including Copernicus and Galileo, and the tensions between religion and science.

Widow of Civil Rights Icon, Dr. Sephira Shuttlesworth on Desegregating Schools & Racial Equity

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Dr. Sephira Shuttlesworth, a retired teacher and charter school leader, and the widow of the late Birmingham, Alabama, civil rights leader, the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.

WSJ Children’s Book Critic & Author, Meghan Cox Gurdon on Reading Aloud to Children in the Age of Distraction

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Meghan Cox Gurdon, the Wall Street Journal’s children’s book reviewer and author of The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction.

Boston Uni.’s Dr. Charles Glenn on School Choice, Civil Rights, & Espinoza

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Dr. Charles Glenn, Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Boston University. Dr. Glenn shares his early experiences in the Civil Rights movement, and how it inspired his work to expand school choice, as well as his thoughts on the Espinoza Supreme Court case's impact on racial justice and religious liberty.

Brown Uni.’s Pulitzer-Winning Prof. Gordon Wood on American Independence & the Founding Fathers

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Gordon Wood, Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Radicalism of the American Revolution.

Lead Plaintiff Kendra Espinoza & IJ’s Attorney Erica Smith on Landmark SCOTUS School Choice Decision

/
This week, in a special segment of “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are honored to be joined by Kendra Espinoza, lead plaintiff in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, just decided yesterday, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, and Erica Smith, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, which represented the plaintiffs.

U-Arkansas Prof. Patrick Wolf on School Choice, Espinoza, & Students’ Civic Prep

/
U-Arkansas Prof. Patrick Wolf joins The Learning Curve to discuss school choice, the Supreme Court's Espinoza case, & students’ civic preparation.