Eric Kalenze

Author of ‘Education Is Upside-Down’

Speaking at


When Facts Fail: How values influence reason, and how better ‘framing’ can move classrooms and professional debates

To borrow from Dan Willingham’s ‘When Do You Trust the Experts?’: sometimes, smart people just believe dumb things. And though it’s tempting to think that such unreason can be reversed with heavy salvos of evidence and argument, considerable research suggests that this approach is likely to be unproductive. Worse, it’s an approach that can actually cause subjects to hold on to their wrong views even more tenaciously. This session will (1) summarize recent decades’ research on the relationship between values and reason, (2) suggest specific ‘framing’ practices for educators seeking to improve their students’ motivation and decision-making, and (3) explore how what we know about values, reason, and framing can be applied to current debates in education.


Eric Kalenze’s career in education has included posts in teaching, coaching, administration, and consulting. He is the author of 2014’s ‘Education Is Upside-Down: Reframing Reform to Focus on the Right Problems’, and he regularly contributes pieces about education practice, research, and reform to publications like Education Week, Education Post, The Hechinger Report, and TES US, as well as to his blog, ‘A Total Ed Case’. Based in Minnesota’s Twin Cities metro area, he currently works as the Director of Education Solutions for applied-research firm Search Institute and with schools/districts as an independent consultant. He is working on his second book, to be released in 2018.



Washington DC 2016

Like Hip-Waders for the Bullsh-initiatives: Research’s Role in Teachers Reclaiming Their Profession – This talk will explore various major over-corrections in the education enterprise in recent decades and suggest how, by becoming better users of available research and a number of key considerations, practitioners can influence future costly, time-ineffective bullsh-initiatives and improve all of education from their classrooms up.