What education could be

By

Kelly Jasper

What if education systems were doing more and thinking differently about preparing learners to thrive in the future? 

Season 1 of the Learning Futures podcast explored that question in conversations with education researchers, leaders and practitioners. It’s hosted by Ronald A. Beghetto, professor and Pinnacle West Presidential Chair for Teacher Education at Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, and an expert on creative thought and action in educational settings. 

In season 1, Beghetto talked to a variety of guests, including faculty from MLFTC and other institutions on topics including the role of teachers in the community, adolescent stress, working with and advocating for minoritized students and their parents, and active learning. On March 30, the Learning Futures podcast returned for a second season. Access all episodes from Season 1 or listen to a recap and a preview of what’s to come in the Season 2 trailer.

Here, Beghetto shares what he’s learned so far about education and the future of learning.

Question: What was the highlight of season 1 for you? 

Beghetto: The highlight for me has been having the opportunity to learn more about exciting and innovative work happening at ASU and beyond. In season 1, I had the opportunity to talk to researchers, practitioners and colleagues about their work and how they’re thinking about the most pressing challenges in education. The Learning Futures production team has done stellar work in finding interesting guests and in producing each show. 

I’m confident that anyone interested in education can find something informative, thought-provoking and engaging in any given episode. I encourage folks to just dive in and listen to any episode that piques their interest, or even randomly select an episode.   

The podcast set out to explore ideas on how to improve the future of learning. What answers did you find? How has your thinking changed about how we prepare learners and the future of learning?

The key term is “futures.” The plurality of this term signifies emergent possibilities. It disrupts the idea that there is a fixed and known future and, instead, invites us to actively consider our shared responsibility in imagining and realizing more promising present and future educational experiences in and beyond formal K–12 and higher education settings.  

Although each episode is different, a common feature across all episodes is that we invite our guests to expand on the topics they have been discussing by helping us imagine a broad horizon of possible futures, including imagining the good, the bad, and the beautiful futures for education and how we might arrive at more beautiful futures.

As a researcher on creativity, is there anything you learned about creative thought and action in making the podcast? 

The episodes in this podcast have been a creative learning experience for me and our listeners in that each episode provides a creative opening encouraging us to think about education in new ways by moving from what currently is to what could or should be.  

The ideas shared across episodes also encourage us to make the familiar in education unfamiliar and the unfamiliar more familiar. As with many creative experiences, the podcast invites us to engage with a plurality of perspectives, explore challenging and important questions facing education with a sense of open-endedness, and most importantly invites us to consider new and actionable possibilities for how we might collectively think about and engage in the shared and broader project of education in and beyond formal school settings. 

What else should people know about the Learning Futures podcast?

We know people are incredibly busy; that is why we have tried to provide them with an opportunity to quickly learn some of the interesting and important work being done by educators at ASU and beyond. The format of the show allows for serendipitous insights and ideas to emerge during the flow of the conversation and can spark new directions in thought and action for our listeners.   

Each show is around 30 minutes long, which we feel provides an engaging introduction and overview of the topics discussed and encourages people to pursue topics further by exploring the links and show notes included with each show. In this way, our listeners can take a deeper dive into the topics and themes introduced in the show and connect with our guests.

We encourage listeners to provide feedback on the shows, including letting us know if you’re interested in joining us or recommending guests for future seasons of the show.  You can email Clarin.Collins@asu.edu to reach one of the producers of the Learning Futures podcast.

Listen and subscribe to season 2 of the Learning Futures podcast. New episodes are released on Tuesdays.