Antonia Rudenstine on RedesignU’s New Vision for Education

Antonia Rudenstine

This episode of the Getting Smart Podcast is sponsored by a new campaign from Getting Smart, “What if…?”.

On this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast Rebecca Midles talks with Antonia Rudenstine about RedesignU and a new approach to k-12 content mapping.

Antonia Rudenstine is a former high school teacher, is now the director of reDesign, LLC, a consulting group that focuses on creating new school designs and program models, in addition to supporting leaders and teachers in the work of instructional and curricular improvement. She has over 25 years of experience supporting schools in thinking deeply about teaching and learning, as it applies both to young people and adults and experience as a school founder and leader, a teacher and a founder of a consulting practice.

Let’s listen in as Antonia and Rebecca talk about curriculum, school models and learning ecosystems.

Antonia didn’t always expect to be an educator. Initially she was on track to be a lawyer, but quickly realized that “it’s really the idea of how people learn that is fascinating to me.” Her education experience has included serving as a school founder, a leader, a teacher and even the founder of a consulting practice. Early on she started to ask herself “How do we make this about kids and not all the other stuff?” This question has remained core to her practice and her mission.

“What if you start at the beginning with designers […] What does it take to really be about learning?”

Early on, Antonia realized that “We need a curriculum that’s about power, how you understand the system around you.” In her first years as a teacher she was determined to change the system and wrote a textbook for her class. “Curriculum is storytelling, it’s ways to think about the world, it’s ways to talk about what’s happening in the world.”

In the RedesignU 5-year-plan it says that“[we must] include and honor the multiplicity of perspectives, cultures and ways of knowing that are central to full participation in the current world.” When asked how Antonia makes sure they get this right she said “You start somewhere. It may not be the best place, but it’s the place we could figure out.”

Rebecca and Antonia also discussed the sentiment “Privilege is when your culture is taught as a core curriculum, and mine is taught as an elective.” The team at RedesignU firmly believes that in order to have learner agency you must have a “celebration of community or critical consciousness.”

The vision of RedesignU is creating something that lives above states. Rather than compete with districts and schools, I’d rather partner. This comes hand-in-hand with “rethinking what the job [of teaching] is.”


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