Learning Chaos



The intersection of Leadership, Learning and Language from a recovering English teacher, leadership coach, and lifelong learner.


  • Resistance

    19/03/2020 Duração: 08min

    “Join the resistance” brings visions of fighting against tyranny and oppression. Most of us “join the resistance” when we’re about two years old, and we get in the habit of countering: pushing back rather than connecting. If we want to build more candid and powerful relationships, we can stop countering and start understanding.

  • Leadership and Fiction

    23/01/2020 Duração: 09min

    We make up stories about what we do and who we are. As leaders, we have responsibility to engage everyone in the story OF – what we do, how and why we do it. And we have a greater responsibility to be skeptical about the stories ABOUT ourselves and others. Never forget, stories reveal the author more than the subject.

  • Sound Leadership

    18/10/2019 Duração: 10min

    We carry around a marvelous instrument for influence and impact. Our voice. Yet how much time and effort do we put into developing this marvelous gift? With a little time spent rethinking how we speak, a little effort on development, we can create a huge change in how we connect and lead. Move beyond your voice being merely a drain for the brain!

  • Leilani Cauthen, Technology, and Learning

    10/09/2019 Duração: 27min

    Two seconds of conversation with Leilani Cauthen is all it takes for her enthusiasm to grab you and hold you captive. She’s passionate about the amazing opportunities presented at the intersection of technology and the classroom. Her organization, The Learning Counsel, is a national research institute and news media hub focused on digital curriculum strategy and tactics, helping school and district leaders determine next steps in their digital transition.

  • Technology and Teleology

    14/08/2019 Duração: 13min

    Teleology is a simple idea: let’s not adopt new stuff (including technology) until we’re clear that it serves our purpose. For our classrooms, let’s re-define teachers’ roles as guides of insight and meaning rather than as sources of data. And let’s be sure any new technology we introduce (i.e., purchase), contributes to meaningful, lifelong learning.

  • The Listening Tricks

    15/07/2019 Duração: 11min

    Our better angel loves to listen. We can always improve our leadership by improving our listening. Here are some experiences and insights that will help you listen better, the route to knowledge, learning, and understanding. Not a bad payoff, right?

  • The Promise of Equity

    07/07/2019 Duração: 10min

    In education, equality is about everyone; equity is about each one. Though we need to keep working on the first, we must shift our focus to the second if we are to improve learning. Students achieve more, much more, when they're invested in not just what they learn but in how and why.

  • Discomfort and Pain

    13/05/2019 Duração: 09min

    Embracing leadership includes embracing discomfort. New people, new situations, new ideas always bring what I call “the itch of discovery.” I need to remember that discomfort and pain are not the same. One connects to challenge, the other to harm. Confusing the two keeps us from exploration. Here's how to make a difference.


    13/03/2019 Duração: 13min

    STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. For some school systems, this approach has become dogma. Find out about STEAMED, a more fun acronym for sure, AND a less restrictive, more powerful approach to learning and development!

  • The Energy of Unresolved Difference

    06/02/2019 Duração: 10min

    Conflict is essential, illuminating, and energizing. Why not change our assumptions about conflict so we can use it as a resource rather than build on it as a barrier? That change is neither far-fetched nor naïve. It’s not easy, but it’s very simple.

  • We Must Be Mistaken

    15/10/2018 Duração: 10min

    X marks the spot of the treasure in pirate stories. X marks the spot of disappointment in our life stories. If we can practice accepting everyone’s mistakes as an opportunity to build trust and increase learning, we can move from blame to gain. Let’s lose the X.

  • Mutualism

    10/10/2018 Duração: 12min

    The “streams” in our schools – administrators, teachers, parents and students – seldom flow togethers, as if learning needs to be broken up in order to be managed. It’s time, past time, to see learning through a framework of leadership rather than management. That framework needs to nurture mutualism and interdependence, to make everyone in the learning community an equal partner, beyond titles, roles and grade levels.

  • Near Enemies

    15/08/2018 Duração: 10min

    NEAR ENEMIES is a term I found, accidentally and with great delight, in a novel by Louise Penny, The Cruelest Month. A Near Enemy is an emotion that is damaging but that feels very much like a positive emotion, often masquerading and causing harm while we feel we’re doing good. I think this one will grab you!

  • Chaos Innovation II: Black Squares and Feedback

    10/08/2018 Duração: 28min

    Sonny and Mac continue their conversation about transforming schools. You’ll hear their passion as they recount stories and research that clarify what may already be obvious: what happens in most classrooms wasn’t even all that effective 50 years ago and is serving no one well now. The conversation moves through what we know works toward establishing a culture of feedback and possibilities as a first step toward real school reform.

  • Conversations over computations

    24/07/2018 Duração: 10min

    TMI. We’re flooded with surveys and percentages, data everywhere. Numbers are useful for management decisions; for leadership decisions we need to engage in conversations. We can move toward accepting ambiguity and different perspectives that cannot be captured by quantitative thinking but only by qualitative thinking: insight over counting. Conversations over computations.

  • Chaos Innovation, episode one

    17/07/2018 Duração: 22min

    Sonny Magana and Mac Bogert met through a mutual friend—an editor who shares their passion for learning. Sonny’s book, Disruptive Classroom Technologies, and Mac’s, Learning Chaos, both rely on research and decades of teaching experience to forecast a vision of the classroom as a generative, exciting place of exploration and discovery. Together, they have a mission to transform our schools. This podcast is the first in a series, Chaos Innovation.

  • Access and Application

    28/05/2018 Duração: 10min

    Schools will soon have uniform access to the internet, with all its promise and pitfalls. The arrival of the web in the classroom will bounce off old ideas about teaching and learning. Access without rethinking application will only produce frustration; let’s take this opportunity to finally bring the classroom out of the factory age.

  • Technology is not The Answer

    13/05/2018 Duração: 10min

    Seems to be a big push to see technology as the answer to poor learning in our schools. Until we free teaching from the strait jacket of industrial-era thinking, we will miss the opportunity provided by the internet and IT.

  • Goal Tending

    19/04/2018 Duração: 09min

    Where did we get the idea that without goals, we’ll never amount to anything? What if we see goals as useful but not necessary? What if we tended our tendency to let goals drive our anxiety and to reduce our flexibility, maybe even our effectiveness? Here’s a quick look at some ideas therein. Have more fun!

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