Redesigning High Schools


Bored to Death,” in the New Republic, captures the remarkable amount of boredom encountered by young people at our high schools. A great lens into a typical day at a high school.

This powerful article is by a veteran teacher who shadows a student at his high school for two days. This experience changes his whole outlook on what it means to experience being a high school student and the need for radically changing how students learn.

Re-designing American High Schools for the 21st Century, by Patrick Cook-Deegan in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, explains how we can use human-centered design, purpose learning, and the latest research on adolescent neuroscience to build better high schools for this century.


Overloaded and Underprepared, Denise Pope

Creativing Innovators, Tony Wagner

Most Likely to Succeed, Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith

Age of Opportunity, Laurence Steinberg

Our challenge isn’t making incremental improvements to an education model designed in 1893.
— Tony Wagner, Creating Innovators, page 222

Purpose Learning


Patrick Cook-Deegan outlines Seven Ways to Make High School More Purposeful and Four Way to Help Teens Find Purpose through experiential education published by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Center.

Emily Esfahani Smith, a writer for The Atlantic, recently has written a number of articles about  meaning, and happiness including There’s More to Life Than Being Happy and Meaning is Healthier than Happiness

David Brooks has also been writing about the importance of character education, inner education, and rethinking education including: The Moral Bucket List and Putting Grit in its Place


Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl

The Power of MeaningEmily Esfahani Smith

Path to Purpose, William Damon

Purpose in LifeKendall Cotton Bronk

Power of Purpose, Richard Leider

Truly finding one’s purpose requires four key components: dedicated commitment, personal meaningfulness, goal directedness, and a vision larger than one’s self
— Kendall Cotton Bronk, Purpose in Life

Polynesian Wayfinding + Navigating

Never Lost website built for the Exploratorium, which has several videos of navigators recounting stories, among other inspiring and interactive content

The Secrets of the Wave Pilots,” a New York Times article by Kim Tingley detailing the navigation techniques used in the Marshall Islands.

"The Soft, Warm, Wet Technology of Native Oceania" explains the history and how-to’s of navigation - a great intro article.

PBS special/documentary on Micronesian Navigator and grandfather of the revival of wayfinding Mau Piailug

Hawaiki Rising, Sam Low

Before our ancestors set out to find a new island, they had to have a vision of that island over the horizon. They made a plan for achieving that vision.
— Pinky Thompson, quoted in Hawaiki Rising
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