Author Archives: Paul Magnuson

About Paul Magnuson

Several years ago, Paul Magnuson founded a research center at the high school level in collaboration with colleagues at Leysin American School. The center supports professional learning through a variety of programs, including year-long action research projects by faculty who receive competitive resident scholarships. In addition, the center works with schools and universities around the world, hosting 10 to 15 visiting scholars annually, and consulting and presenting at schools and other organizations. Paul has created a number of tools and programs, including classroom observation schemes, language immersion summer camps, the middle school at LAS, and most recently, edge, a high school program which offers an alternative to traditional school through greatly increased student agency. His current interests are the documentation of edge, pulling agile into education, and self-regulation for both students and teachers.

Kanban

For several years now we’ve been talking about agility at Leysin American School. There is just something so compelling about managing your work, either alone or with a team, in an easy, visible way. A simple Kanban board (or scrum … Continue reading

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Does Changing Assessment Improve Instruction?

In 2015-2016 we planned a new middle school, with a minimalistic standards based grading system. In the same year, a math teacher piloted standards based grading in one of her grade 10 classes. The success of these two experiences led … Continue reading

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Visiting Scholars

Our school has been hosting visiting scholars for the past six years. To date nearly fifty graduate students, business people, teachers, and professors have lived and worked with our faculty on curriculum, research, and other projects.  As I write, one … Continue reading

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Demos and feedback: Students learning from each other

This the fourth and final blog post in a series of reflections with Bill Tihen. I am pleased that, just as we finish processing Bill’s notes from his November visit with LAS visiting scholar Bret Thayer, Bill has scheduled a … Continue reading

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Uplift: Contextual Exploration and Building Student Confidence

This is the third in a series of four posts based on ongoing conversations with Bill Tihen. On a recent Sunday morning I was playing badminton with my nine-year old daughter. Our rallies were extraordinarily long, we had really gotten … Continue reading

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A sad little metaphor

This past semester, visiting scholar Bilge Kalkavan and I chuckled over a metaphor of school as an amusement park. We hypothesized different booths, like those where you get to knock down clowns with a ball or toss rings around bottle … Continue reading

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Pull vs. Push

This is the second in a series of four posts based on ongoing conversations with Bill Tihen. Bill doesn’t hesitate to make a big claim now and again. I think it’s because he’s had a long history with schools, but … Continue reading

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The importance of context, challenge, and exploration so students find and build on their own strengths

For several years, I had the opportunity to regularly put ideas into practice during the day and debrief them after dinner with my good friend, Bill Tihen. It turns out Bill is, as I jokingly yet seriously remind him from … Continue reading

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Roots of Agile for Education

Not insignificantly, agility affected my personal framing of work and my thinking about how to get work done. My colleague Bill pointed this out to me one day. “You can’t go back, you know,” is what he said. So I … Continue reading

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Getting agile at school

Almost 20 years ago, a group of software engineers published what they called the Agile Manifesto. In it they outlined how they envisioned working. They focused squarely on people, collaborating with each other and the customer, delivering pieces of the … Continue reading

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