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Getting Smart Podcast

Aug 22, 2018

Today, Tom speaks with Tim Stuart. Tim is an international educator who has lived in France and has taught in Turkey and Switzerland. After being the principal of a New Mexico school serving Native Americans, Tim was one of the first to earn a Ph.D. as a Gates Millenium Scholar. As Head of School in Jakarta, he was introduced to professional learning communities by Rick Dufour. Since then, Tim has used professional learning communities to create exemplary schools in Singapore and Ethiopia. And in Tim’s first book for Solution Tree, Global Perspectives, he outlines the use of PLCs in International Schools.


In this podcast, Tim talks to Tom about his journey, why he thinks professional learning communities (PLC) 2.0 is a big deal, the three shifts in personalized learning schools must make, the vision he has for schools around the world, and the main takeaways from his books on personalized learning and PLCs. Tim also gives his insight on turning the four critical PLC questions around and inviting students to become active agents of their own learning.


Key Takeaways:

[:16] About the guest for today, Tim Stuart.

[1:28] Tom welcomes Tim to the podcast.

[2:40] About Tim’s experience as one of the first to earn a Ph.D. as a Gates Millenium Scholar.

[3:08] What kicked off Tim’s leadership career as an international educator?

[4:00] Tim’s experience as an international educator before working in Jakarta.

[4:26] About Tim’s introduction to the professional learning community concept.

[5:46] Why Tim decided to visit schools around the world.

[8:00] How visiting schools supercharged Tim’s PLCs.

[8:34] The thesis of Tim’s (and colleagues’) book, Global Perspectives.

[9:56] Tom summarizes the four professional learning communities (PLC) questions.

[10:28] Tim’s thoughts on the four PLC questions.

[11:15] The origin of Tim’s idea to rework the PLC framework to include students.

[15:10] About Tim’s other recently published book: Personalized Learning in a PLC at Work, and how he connected with the other authors of the book.

[18:10] Tim explains how PLC and RTI come together as critical allies in student learning.

[20:54] Tim speaks about the three shifts in personalized learning schools must make.

[27:42] How highly effective learning progressive schools are schools that are highly collaborative.

[29:20] Tom reads the thesis summary from Personalized Learning in a PLC at Work.

[29:48] About Tim’s first year at the school in Ethiopia and the work he’s doing there.

[33:44] Is it still the vision of the International Community School of Addis Ababa to be the best in (and for) Africa?


Mentioned in This Episode:

Global Perspectives: Professional Learning Communities at WorkTM in International Schools (Fully Institutionalize Behaviors Consistent with PLC Expectations), by Tim Stuart and colleagues

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Jakarta International School

Singapore American School

The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don't Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need and What We Can Do About It, by Tony Wagner

The MET School

High Tech High

Personalized Learning in a PLC at Work™: Student Agency Through the Four Critical Questions (Develop Innovative PLC- and RTI-Based Personalized Learning), by Tim Stuart, Sascha Heckmann, Mike Mattos, and Austin Buffum


Peace Corps

Save the Children

Food for the Hungry

International Community School of Addis Ababa


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