The Learning Leader with Richard Elmore

by | Jan 17, 2021 | 0 comments

4 min read

Richard Elmore Brings Tons of School Leadership Wisdom to the Podcast 

Richard Elmore is currently a Research Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he has been on the faculty since 1990. He was the founding faculty director of the  Doctorate in Educational Leadership (EdLD) at Harvard, an innovative interdisciplinary  residential, cohort-based leadership program for the learning sector, now in its eleventh year.

His on-line HarvardX course, Leaders of Learning, has been taken by more than 100,000 learners internationally since its inception in 2014. From 1995 to 2014, his research and consulting practice focused on building instructional improvement capabilities of teachers and  administrators through direct observation and analysis of classroom practice. 

He has worked with schools in large urban districts in the U.S., and with government and private schools in Australia, Canada, Mexico, Chile, and China. His current work focuses on the relationship between research on the neuroscience of learning and the physical, cultural, and social design of new learning environments for adults, adolescents, and young children. He consults with architectural design firms working with international clients on the design and construction of innovative learning environments. He is a painter, working in watercolor and oil media, and a writer of Tanka poetry.

Highlights from the Interview with Richard Elmore

  • Dr. Elmore plainly describes the power of learning through the beginner’s mindset. In a sobering way, Richard takes us on a journey that uncovers the limitations that the institution of education has and what must be done about it.
  • Richard describes how simple, granular conversations during medical rounds is the premise behind educational rounds.
  • Hear how he clearly distinguishes between education and learning.
  • Listen to what he describes as one of the most powerful practices a leader can do to improve student learning.
  • This interview was steeped in neuroscience and how much has been learned over the last few decades. Richard touted the work of Alison Gopnick and Sarah Blakemore and encouraged us to read their work with a beginner’s mind.
  • Richard’s philosophy on learning is profound and challenging. Learn more about ground zero.
  • Find out what Richard would still like to learn and his unique insight into China. He also recommended Tom Vanderbilt’s book called Beginners as the perfect read for lifelong learning.
  • Richard describes how we can write our biography as a learner, something we should all do.
  • Finally, don’t miss how his mindset toward learning and schooling has changed significantly over the years. He shares a life-changing experience that led him to revamp his teaching style as a professor.

Dr. Elmore’s interview is truly a call-to-action. He challenges the educational system from architectural design to the application of neuroscience. It was a wonderful follow-up to our latest blogpost on the four often overlooked learning strategies for leaders. We hope to hear from you about your favorite parts of both the blog and the interview. 

Please follow, like, and comment. Use #onethingseries and #SH302 so that we can find you. For more great leadership content, follow

Joe & T.J.



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