In this episode, Ziz and Pam talk about disrupting education with Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang. She shares what led her to leave the teaching profession to start Classroom Without Walls. Dr. Ai shares some best practices to help future-proof the next generation.
In Classroom Without Walls, Dr. Ai offers programs for students and their parents to discover how to become engaged learners. With the right knowledge, skills, and mindset, they can create career success, regardless of the path they take. Dr. Ai also helps educators to understand social media and learn how to incorporate social media and creative technologies in the classroom to enhance student engagement and learning outcomes.
The best education happens outside the classroom!
Dr. Ai: “I knew there were important life skills, emotional intelligence, lots of important links that students are not necessarily learning.”
Dr. Ai: “I made two decisions. I became a practitioner and that’s why I launched my live streaming show to really bridge the gap between academia and industry. I think students need to learn not only from academics but from people who are in real life, actually doing this… I became a practitioner and I became a student.”
Dr. Ai: “I think the biggest part is really getting to know who I am…I feel like the struggle is more internal…I discovered the deeper we go within, the more we transform the outside. Our external environment is a mirror reflecting what is inside.”
Dr. Ai: “Children don’t need to wait until they have a mid-life crisis to start going within. They should start this journey much, much earlier.”
Pam: “This goes back to the work of Viktor Frankl, which starts with a unique person and their contributions and you go within. But you can only go within by being challenged without, reaching out to the world. So really, self-transcendence beyond yourself is the movement. It is a movement to better the world, better humanity, which you’re doing. But you have to be quiet enough to hear your conscience to tap into your higher self, your human spirit.”
Pam: “That’s what we’ve taken away from students. We’ve told them how to think. They look around to conform because they don’t know how to hear themselves.”
Pam: “So this movement away, to valuing the human being, and this system, well-meaning, is destructive to our humanness.”
Dr. Ai: “It is not that your children are not motivated, that is only a behavioral manifestation of a deeper issue. So that deeper issue here is the institutionalized curriculum. It’s not personalized enough. The entire learning journey is dictated by some outside policymakers, decision-makers, that has so little relevance to what our children are thinking about, their day-to-day life, and how they prefer to learn.”
Dr. Ai: “If we are talking about reforming, reimagining education, we really need to get buy-in from higher up, from decision-makers, from policy-makers, from school leaders. They have to be part of the decision if we want fundamental changes from the bottom up.”
Dr. Ai: “The entire system has to be disrupted. We have to recognize that learning outside the classroom, lifelong learning, those are very important practices. If we want to nurture the next generation to become lifelong learners, we need to empower our teachers to do the same.”
About Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang:
Dr. Ai is a professor turned entrepreneur. She taught in the classroom for 10+ years and has helped more than 2K students achieve career success. She produces live content multiple times a week to interview leading industry professionals and teach beyond the walls.
Watch her interview with Seth Godin who encouraged her to explore the purpose of education and what we can do to help our children become future-ready, creating successful and fulfilling lives.