#20: Brett Jacobsen – Norms for Learning

What norms do you have in your school, not just for behavior, but for learning? In most schools, norms exist, but they are not as clearly articulated as these five at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School outside of Atlanta, Ga.:

  • Start with questions
  • Assume the best
  • Fail up
  • Share the well
  • Have fun

Those norms form a powerful guide for learning at MVP, according to Headmaster Brett Jacobsen, interviewed in this week’s podcast. Originally recorded three years ago, there’s still a lot of learning for those interested in changing culture, raising student engagement, doing real work in the world, and much more, such as:

  • Crafting a unique, intentional mission statement
  • Developing a culture for learning
  • How to read as a school community
  • The importance of common language
  • What transformation really means
  • How to ship ideas in school
  • How relationships are foundational to learning

In addition, Brett goes into detail about his interest in design thinking and how it manifests itself through classrooms and culture across the school. It’s a great look at how one traditional school has tried to reinvent itself through a very intentional process.

Bruce and Will will be back next week with their regular conversation about learning and education in the modern world.

We’d love to hear your voice in our next podcast. If you have any questions or comments, just use the SpeakPipe app below to record up to 90 seconds of audio thoughts.

Will Richardson

Co-founder of Modernlearners.com and Change School. Author, speaker, instigator, surfcaster, husband, and father to two amazing young adults.

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