Cover art for podcast Coconut Thinking

Coconut Thinking

71 EpisodesProduced by Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.Website

The Coconut Thinking podcast brings together educational provocateurs who are re-thinking school as a concept and a space. It is about advancing the conversation about learning for purpose and for the common good, not just for job-readiness, and certainly not to create docile consumers. Coconut Thin… read more

71 Episodes | 2020 - 2023

Tom Rippin and Oliver Matikainen: Are the SDGs a dangerous distraction?

February 6th, 2023


In this episode, I speak with Tom Rippin and Oliver Matikainen. I came across their article Are the SDGs a dangerous narrative? a few of weeks ago. It asks "Are we addicted to quick-fix painkillers – and still failing …

Curtis Ogden: Creating a bigger WE

January 30th, 2023


In this episode, I speak with Curtis Ogden. Curtis has served as Senior Associate at the Interaction Institute for Social Change since 2005 and brings to IISC his experience in education, community building, leadership …

Vlad Glăveanu: Thinking of possibilities rather than potential

January 6th, 2023


In this episode, I speak with Vlad Glăveanu. Vlad is Full Professor of psychology in the School of Psychology, Dublin City University, and Professor …

Karen O'Brien: You matter more than you think

December 5th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Karen O’Brien. Karen is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at the University of Oslo. …

Zachary Stein: Who gets to decide the stories we tell about ourselves?

November 27th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Zachary Stein. Zak has published two books: Social Justice and Educational Measurement, which traces the history of standardized testing and its ethical implications, and Education in a …

Conrad Hughes: Capturing the stories of learning

November 23rd, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Conrad Hughes, Campus and Secondary Principal at the International School of Geneva, La Grande Boissire, the oldest …

Jon Ardern: Calling time on human exceptionalism

November 19th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Jon Ardern, designer, artist and technologist. As Co-Founder and Director of Superflux he develops long term vision and …

Nora Bateson: We are all crooked trees

November 14th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Nora Bateson. Nora is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and educator, as well as President of the International Bateson Institute, based in Sweden. Her work asks the question “How we can …

Rachel Musson: Learning is a journey of meandering

November 11th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Rachel Musson is an international speaker, educator, facilitator, and thought-leader on regenerative education and …

Jack Miller: Taoism, teaching and learning: A Nature based approach to education

November 1st, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Jack Miller. Jack is Professor of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at Ontario Institute for Studies in …

Helena Norberg-Hodge: Connecting to the local, expanding our selves

October 23rd, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Helena Norberg-Hodge. Helena is a linguist, author and film maker, and the founder and director of the international non-profit organization, Local Futures, a pioneer of the new economy …

Charlotte Hankin: The WISR Framework: Special Episode

October 17th, 2022


In this special episode, Charlotte and I introduce the WISR Framework, which was designed to help educators create spaces in which a regenerative world might emerge. It is takes us from that instant where awe is a …

Larissa Raymond: Agency is not about giving students choice

September 30th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Larissa Raymond. Larissa is a designer and leader of professional learning at EdPartnerships International. Prior to …

Bayo Akomolafe: Sitting with the pain

September 18th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Dr. Bayo Akomolafe. Bayo is a philosopher, psychologist, professor, and poet. He is a teacher and public intellectual …

Penny Hay & Alex Soulsby: We need to be imagination activists

September 14th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Dr. Penny Hay and Alex Soulsby. Penny is an artist, researcher and educator. She is a Reader at Bath Spa University in …

Jennifer D. Klein and Kapono Ciotti: The learner is the main character of their education

August 29th, 2022


In this episode, I speak to Jennifer D. Klein and Kapono Ciotti, authors of The Landscape Model of Learning. Jennifer is the founder of Principled Learning Strategies, which provides professional development to support …

Maggie Favretti: The Decomposition of school and regeneration of learning

August 17th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Maggie Favretti. Maggie Maggie Favretti has spent over 35 years happily helping her students to ask, “why not …

Giles Hutchins: Leading by nature: Being transparent to the transcendent

August 8th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Giles Hutchins, pioneering practitioner, keynote speaker and executive coach at the forefront of regenerative leadership and organizational development. Through his executive leadership …

Kau'i Sang: How do learning and success emerge from local contexts?

July 29th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Dawn Kau'i Sang. Kau'i is the first-ever director of the Office of Hawaiian Education, which is charged with planning …

Gary Chapin: How can we tell a different story of learning?

June 27th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Gary Chapin of Educating for Good and Seed + Spark. Gary is the co-author of 126 Falsehoods We Believe About Education (2021). He has been working in education since 2000, first as a …

Gary Stager: Instruction is overvalued

May 11th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Gary Stager, Ph.D. Since 1982, Dr. Gary Stager has helped school educators around the worldembrace computational …

Bo Stjerne Thomsen: Learning through play in the Metaverse and the Natural World

May 2nd, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Bo Stjerne Thomsen, Chair of Learning through Play, Vice-President at The LEGO Foundation. Bo Stjerne advises executive …

Andy Middleton: Of Imagination, nature, and connections

April 17th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Andy Middleton. Andy is Founder Director of the TYF Group, an innovative and visionary social enterprise. TYF’s mission …

Stephanie Pace Marshall: A new lexicon to create a new paradigm of learning

April 9th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Stephanie Pace Marshall, author of The Power to Transform. Stephanie is a speaker, author, writer and advisor, she illuminates the inextricable connections between the future of learning …

Rob Houben: What do you want to make, do, or learn?

April 2nd, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Rob Houben, from the Agora School, in the Netherlands. Agora is a school without using timetables, courses, or age …

Josie Warden: Regenerative design draws on assets not deficits

March 28th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Josie Warden, Head of Regenerative Design at the RSA—the royal society for arts, manufactures and commerce. Josie is …

Sal Gordon: Bend like bamboo

March 26th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Sal Gordon, Head of Teaching and Learning and Principal at Green School, Bali. Sal is an ‘education revolutionary’ and …

John Watkins: Re-wilding learning and learners

March 18th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with John Watkins. John has over thirty years experience in consulting, coaching, designing, facilitating, researching, and …

Special World Education Summit Episode: Portfolios and curricula of contribution

March 7th, 2022


This is a special episode of the Coconut Thinking podcast ahead of the World Education Summit, which will be held 21-24 March 2022. Charlotte Hankin interviews Benjamin Freud ahead of the 2 presentations he shares with …

Jordi Diaz-Gibson: A Sense of belonging is a fundamental human need

February 2nd, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Jordi Diaz Gibson, co-Founder of the NetEduProject, which is an international interconnected community of leaders, …

Adriano Di Prato: Pedagogies of encounter

January 21st, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Adriano Di Prato, founding partner of a School for tomorrow, a globally recognised educational network supporting …

Dwayne Matthews: The Metaverse as an accelerator for school change

January 16th, 2022


In this episode, I speak with Dwayne Matthews, who makes his second appearance on the podcast. Dwayne is a Chief Innovation Evangelist and Future of …

Ulcca Joshi Hansen: Moving toward human liberatory models

December 2nd, 2021


In this episode, I speak with Ulcca Joshi Hansen, author, educational thought leader and social change advocate with a twenty-year career dedicated to shifting the foundational values and approaches that undergird …

Dave Strudwick: Learning experiences at REAL School Budapest

November 29th, 2021


In this episode, I speak with Dave Strudwick, Principal of REAL School Budapest. REAL School is an independent, not-for-profit international learning …

Yong Zhao: We learn to solve problems, we solve problems to learn

November 22nd, 2021


In this episode, I speak to Yong Zhao, Foundations Distinguished Professor in the School of Education with an appointment in the School of Business …

Ginny Whitelaw: Zen and the art of biophysics: On leadership and learning

November 8th, 2021


In this episode, I speak with Ginny Whitelaw. Ginny is the founder of the Institute for Zen Leadership, a Zen Master in the Chozen-ji line of Rinzai Zen, as well as President of Focus Leadership. She is a recognized …

Andres Roberts: How would nature change leadership... and schools?

November 2nd, 2021


In this episode of the Coconut Thinking Podcast, I speak with Andres Roberts, Founding Partner at The Bio-Leadership Project and Way of Nature UK. The Mission of the Bio-Leadership Project is to change the story of …

Daniel Christian Wahl: Regenerative cultures for learning

October 26th, 2021


In this episode, I speak with Daniel Christian Wahl, international consultant and educator specializing in biologically-inspired whole systems design …

Jane Bryant: Centralizing the Arts to liberate learning

October 10th, 2021


In this episode of the Coconut Thinking podcast, I speak with Jane Bryant, former CEO of Artswork, the UK's national youth arts development agency, …

Carol Sanford: How can we reframe our learning through living systems?

September 23rd, 2021


How can we use regenerative practices to help people reveal their essence? How can we move away from a deterministic approach to education and allow …

Louka Parry: We are human beings, not humans doings

September 9th, 2021


This episode is the second part of a two part series of exchanges between Louka Parry, CEO of the Learning Future and host of the Learning Future podcast, and me. I was thrilled to be a guest on Louka's podcast (part 1) …

Devin Vodicka: Learning starts with knowing who we are

August 25th, 2021


In this episode of the Coconut Thinking podcast, I speak with Devin Vodicka, CEO of the Learner-Centered Collaborative, former CEO of Altitude …

Joanne McEachen: Meaning and fulfillment are the new wealth

August 15th, 2021


In this episode, I speak with Joanne McEachen (Waitaha, Ngāti Māmoe, and Ngāi Tahu), CEO and Founder of The Leaner First. Joanne has spent over 30 years working as a teacher, principal, superintendent, and education …

Richard Louv: How can we develop inquiry and empathy by connecting with nature?

July 20th, 2021


In this episode of the Coconut Thinking podcast (used to be called Meaningful Learning), I speak with Richard Louv. Richard is a journalist and …

Dominic Regester: How can social-emotional learning shape the futures we want?

July 16th, 2021


In this episode of the Coconut Thinking podcast (used to be called Meaningful Learning), I speak with Dominic Regester. Dominic is the program …

Santiago Rincón-Gallardo,: How can we liberate learning to foster social change?

July 2nd, 2021


In this episode of the Coconut Thinking podcast, I speak with Santiago Rincón-Gallardo, Chief Research Officer of Michael Fullan's team. As an …

Jeremy Lent: Integrating learning and nature to save the planet

June 6th, 2021


In this episode, I speak with Jeremy Lent. Jeremy was described by Guardian journalist George Monbiot as “one of the greatest thinkers of our age,” and his work investigates the underlying causes of our civilization’s …

Jenny Finn: Returning to ancient roots

May 18th, 2021


In this episode, I speak with Jenny Finn, Head of School at Springhouse, a learning community with life at its center. Springhouse takes learning …

Chris Menagé: Deeper learning requires fluid thinking

April 28th, 2021


In this episode, I speak with Chris Menagé. Chris is an interdisciplinary educational leader with over 20 years’ international and national experience across private enterprise, government administration and most …

Peter Sutoris: Imagining our futures

April 21st, 2021


In this episode, I speak with Peter Sutoris. Peter is a development professional, researcher, writer and educator, who spent a decade working on issues of education, health and social development. Peter is the author of …

Helen Kopnina: Learning as giving back to nature

April 13th, 2021


In this episode, I speak with Helen Kopnina, Researcher in Sustainability and Biodiversity at The Hague University of Applied Science (HHS) and Coordinator of the Sustainable Business program. She conducts research …

Haydn Washington: Wonder as the gateway to eco-reciprocity

April 7th, 2021


In this episode, I speak to Haydn Washington, environmental scientist and writer at the Institute of Environmental Studies at UNSW. His interests are …

Noah Sobe: Commoning our futures

April 4th, 2021


In this episode, I speak with Noah Sobe, Senior Project Officer in the Education Research and Foresight program at UNESCO. Noah is a key part of UNESCO's new flagship initiative on the Futures of Education, which brings …

Valerie Hannon: Thriving through a new story of school

March 28th, 2021


In this episode of the Meaningful Learning Podcast, I speak with Valerie Hannon. Valerie is a global thought leader, inspiring systems to re-think …

Jennifer Groff: The Platform is burning

March 7th, 2021


In this episode of the Meaningful Learning podcast by Coconut Thinking, I speak with Jennifer Groff. Jennifer is the Founder of Learning Futures and …

Bern Nicholls: Learning through curiosity of the heart and the mind

February 24th, 2021


In this episode of the Meaningful Learning podcast by Coconut Thinking, I speak with Bern Nicholls. Bern is a school-based researcher who focuses on …

Thom Markham: The Human Development Revolution

January 28th, 2021


This is a particularly nourishing episode of the Meaningful Learning podcast by Coconut Thinking. Our guest is Dr. Thom Markham, considered one of …

Michael Bunce: Learning is a dynamic, oscillating process

January 12th, 2021


In this episode of the Meaningful Learning podcast, I speak with Michael Bunce. Michael is Curriculum Development and Enhancement Lead for Music and …

Tanya Sheckley: Finding joy in learning through PBL

January 5th, 2021


In this episode of the Meaningful Learning podcast, I speak with Tanya Sheckley, Social Entrepreneur and Founder of UP Academy, an elementary school …

Will Richardson: Let's ask those big, existential questions

December 14th, 2020


In this episode of the Meaningful Learning podcast, I speak with Will Richardson. Will is a former public school educator of 22 years and has spent …

Tim Logan: Agile in learning and action

December 6th, 2020


In this episode of the Meaningful Learning podcast, I speak with Tim Logan, long-time educator and consultant and strong advocate of bringing Agile …

Karl Millsom: Bringing the "why" back into learning

December 2nd, 2020


In this episode of the Meaningful Learning podcast, I speak with Karl Millsom, Founder of the Rebel Teacher Network. Karl is a thought agitator who …

Kyle Wagner: Are Micro-schools the way to drive innovation from within?

November 27th, 2020


In this episode of the Meaningful Learning podcast, I speak with Kyle Wagner, Learning Experience Co-Designer who uses PBL as a vehicle for deeper …

Michael Robbins: Connected Learning

November 1st, 2020


In this episode of the Meaningful Learning podcast, I speak with Michael Robbins, who has a long history of being at the center of education reform …

Mark Barnett: Deeper Learning through PBL

October 20th, 2020


In this episode of the Meaningful Learning podcast, I speak with Mark Barnett, Learning Experience Designer, PBL consultant, maker space leader, …

Dwayne Matthews: How Outcomes may end up Replacing Grades

October 11th, 2020


In this episode of the Meaningful Learning podcast, I speak with Dwayne Matthews, one of the broadest and deepest thinkers I've met in a while. In …

Dan Kreiness: Transformational Leadership

September 12th, 2020


In this podcast, I speak with Dr. Dan Kreiness, instructional leader and host of The Leader of Learning podcast. Through his coaching, podcast, blog, and research, Dan is an influencer and expert in transformational …

Trevor Soponis: Listen to the Students

June 12th, 2020


In this podcast I speak with Dr. Trevor Soponis, Founder and Chief Learning Officer of the Sustainable Learning Projects. Trevor is dedicated to developing project-based learning opportunities addressing the fundamental …

What Have Students Learned During Their School Years and What Do They Value?

May 27th, 2020


Listening to education podcasts, there are many conversations about the student experience that take place between adults, and while there can be so …

Rena Upitis: Learning Through the Arts, the Body, and the Natural World

May 13th, 2020


Dr. Rena Upitis is a Professor of Education at Queen’s University. She has authored or co-authored 10 books and over 100 peer-reviewed articles. …

How Can We Assess Actual Learning?

April 29th, 2020


We look at why:

  • learning cannot be measured effectively through testing.
  • the education industry has reduced learning to a score (grade).
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