uLearn16 – Keynote #1: Larry Rosenstock

‘It’s Time to Change the Subject’

Larry Rosenstock is the founder and CEO of High Tech High, a network of public charter schools focused on project-based learning.

0ef17ccdd1663a8668abab4d7ebb017cLarry used the idea of education as a mosaic that we are all part of. No part is perfect, but every part contributes to the overall

I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think – Socrates

Larry talked about retrieving our educational history. He outlined different aspects of the past as learning has moved over the years as talked about mis-assumptions and aspects that needed revisioning. For example, he noted the decision of putting students that are the same age together is something that needs to break down. The pathways situation is also problematic – pushing students into vocational or academic pathways. He drew the ethos from pedagogy of the oppressed and spoke of equity in education. Sometimes you need to treat people differently in order to treat them equally.


Segregation of subjects was spoken about. ‘Its both, not either or’ claiming that all subject exist in every topic. Where’s the maths? You don’t have to make false choices of the segregation of curriculum areas. Isolation of the disclipines. He championed the connected curriculum, and one that is socially constructed. This has an emphasis on students take complex concepts & making them accessible to other students.

Expeditionary learning – super resource to help support project based learning.

It struck me that Larry is the type of person – he didn’t have a very structured presentation – that his creativity wasn’t knocked out by his education. Ken Robinson talks about how school’s kill creativity, but the way that Larry spoke about education it reminded me of a young child talking excitedly about learning. He didn’t strike me as someone bogged down by buzzwords and edu-speak, he just seemed very clear about a philosophy of education that was hands on with students at the centre. And he walked the talk, showing a huge range of student work throughout the presentation.

There are two kinds of people in this world; those who think there are two kind of people in this world and those that don’t



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