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.

A semantic difficulty for school reform

Paul is working with ScrumAlliance on the first agile certification specifically for educators: the Agile Certified Educator.  For the better part of a year I’ve been working with a small group on a new approach to teaching and learning. At … Continue reading

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Are we helping students get comfortable with change? Part 2

with Bill Tihen, Software Developer at Garaio, Bern, and former teacher and IT director at LAS  See Part 1 with this same title, in which Bill and I point out the irony that our busy academic schedules, created and driven … Continue reading

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Are we helping students get comfortable with change? Part 1

with Bill Tihen, Software Developer at Garaio, Bern, and former teacher and IT director at LAS  We want – or we should want – to give our students safe experiences to deal with change, whether it is changing their approach, … Continue reading

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Unschool

Like so many parents across the world, I’ve been watching, and occasionally helping, my 9-year old navigate online learning. I have it pretty easy, with all of the resources one needs, a fourth grade curriculum that isn’t too demanding, a … Continue reading

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Why Kanban?

In the previous post I mentioned that my daughter Emma’s Kanban board was demonstrating three basic Kanban principles. These are making work visual, limiting the amount of work you are doing at one time, and managing workflow. Making work visual … Continue reading

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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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