The Skinny On Lean Education

We recently hosted a webcast conversation between Matt Candler, Founder & CEO of 4.0 Schools, and Marilyn Gorman, Faculty Lead at Lean Startup Co., about how lean principles are being used in education.

In Marilyn and Matt’s conversation, they discuss:
– How early assumptions about what your customers want can hurt your credibility and waste time.
– Why it’s important to know the problem you are trying to solve, and then having the courage to experiment in a small way.
– The importance of building something for a customer segment rather than a one-size-fits all product for everyone.

And much, much more…

Seven years ago, 4.0 Schools founder and CEO Matt Candler set out to change the future of schooling. As a lifelong educator, he recognized that innovations in education were few and far between and that the people who were best able to come up with new, groundbreaking ways to reach and teach the students, parents, and members of our communities, were the educators themselves. So 4.0 Schools was created and launched in order to fund and guide educational entrepreneurs and help them launch new charter public schools in the south east.

Unfortunately, their efforts didn’t churn out the changes in the system they were hoping to see. “Many of those schools when they first were created were not very different,” says Matt, “they were evolutionary or iterative at best.”

But around the same time, a few of Matt’s colleagues asked if they could run an experiment on the side. They wanted to work with teachers in New Orleans (where 4.0 Schools is based) who weren’t ready to quit teaching or launch a new school, but still wanted to try something new.

What Matt and his colleagues discovered was a gap between the people who have innovative ideas about the future of school and their ability to do anything about it. So in just the second year of their organization, 4.0 Schools completely changed focus from expensive, year-long fellowships for educational entrepreneurs, to helping craft pilot programs for educators who want to make a difference.

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