Is Traditional Education Outdated? Josh Reppun’s Mission to Transform Teaching and Learning

In this thought-provoking podcast episode, we challenge the foundations of traditional education alongside the insightful Josh Reppun. As we explore innovative teaching methods, you’ll gain a fresh perspective on the future of learning. Are we ready to embrace change and redefine education?

The Journey of an Education Evangelist: A Conversation with Josh Reppun

Education is more than just theoretical knowledge; it’s about finding and nurturing passion, exploring latent potentials, and learning life’s critical lessons. Josh Reppun, a quintessential educator and the host of the “What School Could Be” podcast, knows this deeply. Through our riveting conversation, we delve into Josh’s transformative journey from being a student to an influential educator and advocate for reimagining education.

A Personal Story Rooted in Education

The story of Josh Reppun is not your typical educational journey. His introduction to education was quite unorthodox. Like many students, he viewed school as a waste of time. The experience that truly shaped him was outside the traditional classroom, immersed in the nitty-gritty of life, on his family home on the windward side of O’ahu.

Interestingly, Josh’s educational revolution started when he watched the film, “Most Likely to Succeed.” This pivotal moment in his life became a turning point as he felt an irrevocable change in his life’s trajectory. Josh’s life took a remarkable turn and set him on the path he is treading today, mounting a crusade to reimagine education.

Teachers: The Giants We Stand Upon

The conversation veered into reminiscing about several teachers who left an indelible mark on Josh – educators who allowed him to rise and stand on their towering shoulders. He holds in high esteem his high school teachers who had tremendous impacts on him, particularly:

– Paul “Doc” Berry, who taught fiction and film. Doc didn’t just instill knowledge; he ignited passion. He provided Josh an opportunity to bring out his inner filmmaker, a capacity that Josh didn’t realize he had until then.

– Gordy Dolinar and Art Bowen, his history teachers, who shared his love for history. They inspired learning by emphasizing extensive reading, injecting project-based learning into conventional curriculum.

– Dr. Roger Pfeffer, his Marine Biology teacher, who inculcated the significance of ecosystem and channelled Josh’s curiosity in marine biology into a project with real-world implications.

Josh attributes his foundation in education and a vast part of who he has become to the lessons learned from these educators.

The Fight for Education

Our conversation shifted towards the theme of ‘fighting for education.’ Josh discusses his perpetual ‘fight,’ not in the conventional sense, but a fight to enact change, to influence, and to elevate the victories of education revolution. He believes that his podcast is a way to participate in this fight – elegantly documenting powerful narratives of educators, and inspiring a generation of future teachers.

Josh discusses how his teachers’ remarkable influence generated the high points in his education journey and proudly declares, “Even in the ‘heightened sense of Hawaiian renaissance,’ I wouldn’t give up my experiences with those teachers.”


During our whole conversation, what shines out about Josh Reppun is his unwavering commitment to the advancement of education, his admiration for his educators, his dedication to fight for a progressive education system, and the conviction in his role in that fight. His journey is an inspiration to students, educators, and all those invested in the reimagining of the world of education. This isn’t just the story of an education evangelist; it’s a testament to what education could be if it focuses on nurturing students and allowing them to grow in their unique ways.

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