Elliot Washor on How Real-World Learning Transforms Education

Key Points

  • Putting relationships and relevance together is how you get the rigor and the vigor.

  • You have to do before you know.

On this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast, Tom Vander Ark is joined by Elliot Washor, the co-founder of Big Picture Learning and author of the great new book Learning to Leave: How Real-World Learning Transforms Education. This book is the followup to the great Leaving to Learn: How Out-of-School Learning Increases Student Engagement and Reduces Dropout Rates.

Elliot is also the co-founder of The Met Center in Providence, RI and has been involved in school reform for more than 50 years as a teacher, principal, administrator, video producer, and writer. He has taught and is interested in all levels of school from kindergarten through college, in urban and rural settings, across all disciplines. His work has spanned across school design, pedagogy, learning environments, new forms and new measures for learning, and is supporting others doing similar work throughout the world. Elliot’s interests lie in the field of how schools can connect with communities to understand tacit and disciplinary learning both in and outside of school. Elliot is deeply committed to imagining Big Picture Learning as a ‘do-think-do’ organization, and persistently pushes the boundaries of its design in order to continually innovate practice and influence in the world of education especially for those youth living in communities furthest from opportunity.


Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

Subscribe to Our Podcast

This podcast highlights developing trends in K-12 education, postsecondary and lifelong learning. Each week, Getting Smart team members interview students, leading authors, experts and practitioners in research, tech, entrepreneurship and leadership to bring listeners innovative and actionable strategies in education leadership.

Find us on:


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.