Karen Avital talks about her courageous journey to ditch her career in Biotech to begin following her higher purpose, using her curiosity and her gut to navigate. She got a BA in Behavioral Science and Business Management in Israel, then gravitated toward education at UCLA. She learned to listen to her own observations and conclusions causing her to solidly depart from the default education model which she saw being taught.
Intuitively she sought out her own teachers and mentors, some of which were half way around the world. She began learning about compelling alternatives in education such as Reggio Emilia. This philosophy tends to flip the roll of student and teacher, similar to the unschooling movement taking hold in the world today.
She explains that Reggio Emilia at it’s core is a pedagogy of listening and moreover creating change. Curriculums are emergent rather than static. This helps the world not only move past outdated topics, but it creates culture of deeper curiosity, agility and ultimately collaboration.
Her school, Barefoot Atelier, incorporates many RIE techniques as well, which embraces the epic importance of respect. Her programs also blend in forest schooling techniques and a strong belief in connection and community. Barefoot is an eclectic place where children start off their journey in an authentic context, staying connected to the self, and ready to explore the world around them.
Listen in, to hear her journey to find new paths to innovate and redefine the future of education.