Frank Talks: Designing Meaningful K-12 Learning Experiences

A photo of a man sitting in front of a tree


Tuesday, November 01, 2022 - 7:30PM EST



Designing Meaningful K-12 Learning Experiences

Andy Pethan began designing learning experiences during his time at Olin, he went on to design them as a high school teacher and a math curriculum developer. Today he facilitates others' design in his role as a software developer. Andy’s fascination with "backward-design" (goals/requirements first), and a focus on student (user) needs and hopes, has been further clarified through his various attempts to design meaningful and engaging curriculum for teens. After spending years doing fast iteration, making a new attempt at the same course every semester with new students and changes in the structure and delivery each time, he now benefits from a slower pace with more time for intentionality and reflection. Andy will share insights from working with high schoolers, and a perspective on how to support your own work designing experiences for older (or younger!) audiences where others can learn, make connections, and find joy.

About Andy Pethan '11

Andy graduated from Olin with an E: Computing degree in 2011, but since sophomore year he has been obsessed with learning about how people learn and how schools function. Unsatisfied with what he could learn as an observer on the outside, he entered a graduate teacher prep program in Minnesota and started student teaching as a high school math teacher the fall after graduating Olin. He stayed in Minnesota for eight years with his wife and growing family, moved abroad for a year, and then transitioned back to his hometown of Appleton, WI. Today he works part-time remotely for three organizations in the education space and spends his time with his wife and four kids.

A classroom of students
Watch the Recording of Andy's talk