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S2/E11: Deeper Learning for All: A Leadership Perspective with Dr. Carmen Coleman


What are some essential strategies that district leaders should put into place to make sure all students have the ability to engage in deeper learning? How can school leaders and teachers collaborate more effectively to maximize impact on diverse groups of students? What are some ways to strike the appropriate balance between structure and agency when implementing project based learning practices? We discuss these questions and much more with Dr. Carmen Coleman, Chief Academic Officer of Jefferson County Public Schools in Kentucky. 

In 2018, Dr. Coleman launched the “What’s in Your Backpack?” video series, with each episode focusing on a specific aspect of the Backpack of Student Success Skills development. The program focuses on providing students with a backpack full of universal essential skills, such as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication. Students fill their virtual backpacks with examples of their work and defend that work during the school year.

Dr. Coleman previously served as an associate clinical professor at the University of Kentucky (UK) in the Department of Educational Leadership Studies. She was the program coordinator for the Principal Preparation Program and the director of the Next Generation Leadership Academy.

Before joining UK, Dr. Coleman served as superintendent of Danville Independent Schools. Previously, she was director of elementary schools in Fayette County. She began her career in Scott County, where she worked as a teacher and principal.

This episode is a follow up to S1/E10, when we spoke with Jefferson County's Donna Neary about "Accelerate to Graduate", her team's project-based learning initiative that helped newcomers graduate before aging out of high school. We were curious to learn more about the role school leadership plays in implementing this kind of program. As you will hear, Dr. Coleman provided us with that and much more!

During our conversation, we mention the following books and resources...

Dr. Coleman is happy to share and collaborate with listeners...

We'd love to hear your reactions to this episode - leave a comment below to start a conversation!