What are the hard questions in education today?

My guest is Pasi Sahlberg. When he was teaching at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, he edited a book with his students on some of the biggest and hardest questions facing education today.

In our conversation, Pasi speaks about the class, the book, and the importance of writing op-eds. He even offers some advice for US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Many listeners have probably heard of Pasi Sahlberg. Some might even consider him an educational change maker. I ask Pasi if he sees himself as a change maker. Stay tuned to hear his answer!

Pasi Sahlberg is a global educational advisor. His latest co-edited book is entitled Hard Questions on Global Educational Change: Policies, practices, and the future of education which was published by Teachers College Press earlier this year.

Citation: Sahlberg, Pasi, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 82, podcast audio, June 17, 2017. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/pasisahlberg-2/

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I’m going to generalize here. I bet for many listeners schooling is understood as an institution that instills in children a type of practical knowledge that hopefully makes them future productive citizens. Education through schooling is the answer to many social problems. It’s very purpose is to improve society.

But where did these ideas come from? Why do many people think schooling is to improve society? What knowledge and systems of reason govern this type of thinking about education?

My guest today, Professor Tom Popkewitz, dives deep into these questions. Tom joined me to talk about some of his newest thinking, which he is currently writing up as a book tentatively entitled, The Impracticality of Practical Research: A History of Present Educational Sciences and the Limits of its System of Reason.

Get ready: My conversation with Tom covers a lot of ground: touching on the notion of cosmopolitanism, connecting the Enlightenments in the 18th and 19th centuries to the 20th century progressive education era in America, and finally to contemporary teacher education and the rise of PISA.

He challenges us to think about what it means to compare in educational sciences today. Where did such comparative thinking come from and how does it primarily work?

Tom Popkewitz is a professor in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Today we look at developmental leadership in the Philippines. My guest is Professor Michele Schweisfurth.

In a recent report for the Developmental Leadership Program, with support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Michele and a team explored the ways in which higher education has supported the emergence of developmental leaders and the formation of networks among leaders in the Philippines.

Michele Schweisfurth is Professor of Comparative and International Education at the University of Glasgow, where she is also co-Director of the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change.

Her latest co-written report on developmental leadership in the Philippines can be downloaded here.