Dr. Shawn Loescher, CEO of Urban Discovery Schools in San Diego, has a conversation with Dr. Punya Mishra about his formative educational and professional experiences, including the influence of his family, his time in college studying music alongside subjects like philosophy, and his experiences working abroad in the Czech Republic and Slovakia following the Velvet Revolution, during a time of great political upheaval there. Loescher talks about his fundamentally optimistic view of the possibility for social change, and how he balances that with realism. Mishra and Loescher then discuss how Loescher’s values and educational philosophy play out in his more recent work as leader of a network of urban schools, including in his approach to “managing up,” teacher training and development, bridging research and practice, and the school network’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He explains how design thinking and action research are integrated into the fabric of Urban Discovery schools in their approach to continued learning and improvement.
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