Wayne Banks (KIPP Academy) on remote learning, protests, and race in CrossFit

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Wayne is the principal in residence at KIPP Team Academy in Newark, New Jersey. I’ve wanted to have Wayne on the show for awhile to talk about education since I’m endlessly fascinated with learning, learning about learning, teaching, teaching others to teach, and basically every other possible recursion and iteration of the words "teach" and "learn." Given the climate in the world right now, we discuss Wayne’s expertise through the lens of suddenly transitioning into remote learning due to COVID-19. We also discuss the climate of race in 2020 and Wayne’s experiences as a black, gay man. We also dig into the pending "cancellation" of Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, and we work through how to reconcile someone’s contributions with their toxic personal behavior. There’s a lot of hot button and potentially dangerous issues in this conversation, so I appreciate Wayne being vulnerable. Hopefully we were able to touch these topics in a nuanced and helpful way.

Check out more from Wayne and KIPP here:

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Show Notes:
  • [02:42] Wayne’s experience suddenly transitioning into online learning - and also likely having COVID-19 in February. Also, the importance of access to resources in education to facilitate moving to online education.
  • [14:20] How can children engage in self-guided learning? How can educators? Facilitate self-guided learning?
  • [22:15] What is the role of motivation in learning? How is Wayne preparing for a likely "middle ground" in the future with some online learning and some in-person learning?
  • [28:45] What transfers over from an in-person learning environment into an online learning environment?
  • [36:04] How to have high expectations and "hold someone’s feet to the fire" - both in managing teachers and in educating children.
  • [47:30] What have we seen exposed as far as systemic inequalities through both COVID-19 and the protests in response to the killing of George Floyd?
  • [58:52] What are Wayne’s recommendations for self-educating regarding social justice issues? How should we think about racism in our current society?
  • [01:11:10] How should we think about "cancel culture" - and what are some unintended consequences of online shaming?
  • [01:23:23] How do we reconcile the contributions of people who are unethical in their personal lives but who have made important contributions to their field? This is especially timely in the context of Greg Glassman, the founder and former CEO of CrossFit.
  • [01:30:55] How to learn more from Wayne
Links and Resources Mentioned

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