In this episode of the TiLT parenting podcast, I’m talking with Zach Morris, the executive director and development of curriculum and instruction at LEARN Inc. LEARN Inc. is an non-for-profit school in Missoula, Montana in the United States which is approaching education in a thoughtful and alternative way, and with powerful results, especially for their neurodiverse students, which make up to 75% of the student body. Their mission is to facilitate individualized learning opportunities that honor neurodiversity, encourage social collaboration, and foster whole-person growth. And as a result, the kids at LEARN are getting the opportunity to develop with confidence and feeling seen for who they are.
I know that this education piece—figuring out how to help our child develop a love of learning and reach their full potential—is one of the most challenging pieces of raising differently-wired kids, and I just have to say that talking with Zach left me feeling inspired, hopeful, and motivated. Zach believes there is a different way, and he’s doing his part to push the needle forward. Together we talk about the the philosophy of nonviolent communication, what can happen for our kids when we practice compassion with them, and how parents like us can bring some of Zach’s philosophy into our lives to support our kids. This was one of those mind = blown conversations for me. I hope you like it.
About Zach: Zachary Morris M.Ed is a leader in education. Serving as executive director and development of curriculum and instruction since LEARN inc.’s inception, he is committed to the cultivation of a thriving student-centered learning community built on compassion. Zach holds a Montana State educators license, he is HANDLE level 1&2 certified, and he is an active pursuant of Non-Violent Communication practices. His current research targets neurodiversity and learning.
THINGS YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
- What it looks like when education is grounded in compassion and the principles of nonviolent communication, ecological literacy, and whole person learning (social, emotional, physiological, and academic)
- Why Zach believes the key to education is individualization and diversity within the system
- How a child can be shifted from feeling they do everything wrong to feeling like they can are heard and can contribute
- How Zach helps a child with PTSD from their previous educational experiences recover
- How parents can incorporate Zach’s philosophy into their daily lives
- Why Zach believes that we have choice in everything
- Learn Inc (Zach’s school)
- The Center for Nonviolent Communication (Marshall Rosenberg’s Global Organization)
- Speak Peace in a World of Conflict by Marshall Rosenberg
- Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg
- Thinking Goes to School: Piaget’s Theory in Practice by Hans Furth and Harry Wachs