Mar 23 2022

The Future of Education: Rebuilding the Architecture of Teaching and Learning

Grantmakers for Education


March 23, 2:00 pm ET

The Spencer Foundation has teamed up with Phi Delta Kappan to publish a series of thought pieces about the kinds of schools and learning opportunities it may be possible to create in the coming decades. Grantmakers for Education is organizing a series of conversations for our members around the themes being explored and implications for grantmaking. Join funders, researchers, educators, students and advocates in exploring what may be possible and how it could shape your work.

Session 3: Rebuilding the Architecture of Teaching and Learning

We are moving into a post-reform era in American education. If the future of preK-12 education is going to be significantly different than the past, we need to replace the current grammar and structure of schooling with approaches that value expanded conceptions of teaching and learning, authentic student engagement, sustainable approaches and human relationships. Join us for a conversation exploring the opportunities and challenges of this shift.

The Phi Delta Kappan article related to this session is Possible futures: Toward a new grammar of schooling.

This event is intended for members and other education grantmakers. There is no cost to attend this program. Sessions will run for one hour.

Registration closes 15 minutes prior to the program time. Thank you for your patience; we review each registration in advance.

About the Presenters

Gwynn Hughes

Gwynn Hughes
Senior Program Officer
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Gwynn Hughes joined Mott as a program officer in 2010 and was named a senior program officer five years later. She manages the Foundation’s largest grantmaking portfolio, Advancing Afterschool, which supports — among many other organizations — 50 statewide afterschool networks. Prior to joining the Foundation, Hughes served as executive director of the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership in Boston from 2004 through 2010. She also held several positions with the State of Massachusetts, where she focused on policy and practice initiatives supporting children and families, serving consecutively as director of labor relations, chief operating officer of the Office of Child Care Services, and chief of Project Management and Policy Support for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. A graduate of Wellesley College, Hughes earned her master’s degree in music from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. In 1998, she received a Juris Doctor from the Northeastern University School of Law in Boston.

Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang

Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang
Professor of Education, Psychology and Neuroscience
University of Southern California

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, EdD is a Professor of Education, Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Southern California, Fahmy Attallah Professor of Humanistic Psychology, and Director of the USC Center for Affective Neuroscience, Development, Learning and Education (CANDLE). She studies the psychological and neurobiological development of emotion and self-awareness, and connections to social, cognitive and moral development in educational settings. She uses cross-cultural, interdisciplinary studies of narratives and feelings to uncover experience-dependent neural mechanisms contributing to identity, intrinsic motivation, deep learning, and generative, creative and abstract thought. Her work has a special focus on adolescents from low-SES communities, and she involves youths from these communities as junior scientists in her work.

A former urban public junior high-school science teacher, she earned her doctorate at Harvard University in 2005 in human development and psychology and completed her postdoctoral training in social-affective neuroscience with Antonio Damasio in 2008.

Dr. Jal Mehta

Dr. Jal Mehta
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Jal Mehta is a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research explores the role of different forms of knowledge in tackling major social and political problems, particularly problems of human improvement. He has also written extensively on what it would take to improve American education, with a particular focus on the professionalization of teaching.

Jal is the author of The Allure of Order: High Hopes, Dashed Expectations and the Troubled Quest to Remake American Schooling (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013) and the co-editor of The Futures of School Reform (Cambridge: Harvard Education Press, 2012). He is currently working on two projects: In Search of Deeper Learning, a contemporary study of schools, systems, and nations that are seeking to produce ambitious instruction; and The Chastened Dream, a history of the effort to link social science with social policy to achieve social progress. He is co-editor of the Learning Deeply blog at Education Week, and in 2014 was the top-ranked junior faculty scholar in the Rick Hess Education Week rankings. He is also the winner of the Morningstar Teaching Award at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Josh Starr

Dr. Joshua Starr
Chief Executive Officer
Phi Delta Kappa International

Dr. Joshua P. Starr has been the Chief Executive Officer of PDK International since July 2015. Since then, PDK has relocated its headquarters to Arlington, VA and celebrated 50 years of the PDK Poll and 100 years of Kappan magazine. Under Dr. Starr, PDK has expanded Educators Rising across the nation, including launching Educators Rising Collegiate, increased foundation support for its programs, and renewed support for PDK members and other educator scholars. He is the author of numerous essays, book chapters and op-eds and writes a monthly column, “On Leadership,” for Kappan.

Prior to joining PDK, Dr. Starr was superintendent of schools in Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland for nearly four years and previously superintendent of schools for Stamford, Conn., for six years. Dr. Starr began his career teaching special education in Brooklyn, N.Y. He became a central office leader in school districts in the NY metropolitan area and served in the New York City Department of Education.

Dr. Starr has a bachelor’s degree in English and History from the University of Wisconsin, a master’s degree in special education from Brooklyn College, and a doctorate in education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Dr. Starr and his wife have three children who have gone through public schools.

Saskia Levy Thompson

Saskia Levy Thompson
Program Director, New Designs to Advance Learning
Carnegie Corporation of New York

Saskia Levy Thompson is a program director within the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Education program, where she manages the New Designs to Advance Learning portfolio. Saskia oversees grantmaking aimed at advancing school and system models that enable students to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed for future success.

For the last twenty years, Saskia has worked at the intersection of practice, policy, research, and now philanthropy. She has served as a member of the leadership team at the NYC Department of Education, including an appointment as Deputy Chancellor for Portfolio Planning; as Executive Director of the Urban Assembly, a nonprofit network of college and career-preparatory high schools serving high-poverty communities; and as a senior staff member at both the Research Alliance for NYC Schools and MDRC, the preeminent national think tank focused on building knowledge to improve social policy.

Saskia holds a BA in Political Science from NYU, and worked abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina prior to beginning her career in education. She sits on the boards of several youth services organizations, including the Harold Hunter Foundation, East Harlem Scholars Academies, the East Harlem Tutorial Project, and the Teagle Foundation, and also volunteers in her community. Saskia recently chaired the Education Transition Committee for New York City’s Mayor, Eric Adams.


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