He holds an honors degree from Brown University, is a Harry S. Truman Scholar for Public Service (California, 1999), and was a finalist for a Rhodes scholarship. With the publication of Learning Outside The Lines (now in its 28th printing) when he was 23, Jonathan has established himself as one of the foremost leaders in the neurodiversity and the learning revolution. His second book, The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal was published in the spring of 2007 to outstanding reviews in The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune and many other national publications. Both books are considered foundational texts in the disability rights movement, the inclusive education movement, and the learning revolution and are used in under-graduate and graduate program at universities and colleges across the country including Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and Teachers College, Columbia University.
Jonathan’s work has been widely recognized for its innovation and social impact and. In 1999, Jonathan was selected as a Harry S. Truman Scholar for Public Service Truman scholar for public service; in 2000 Jonathan was selected as a finalist for the Rhoads scholarship; and In 2008 Jonathan’s social impact work was recognized by the Lab School of Washington where he shared the stage with the Vice President of the United States, Joseph Biden.
He is a widely sought after speaker whose work has been featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, HBO, NPR, ABC News, New York Magazine, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe.
- Dispatches from the Front lines of the Learning Revolution
Jonathan Mooney newest talk, "Dispatches from the Front lines of the Learning Revolution", brings to life, and makes sense out of, the disruptive learning innovations that are rearing their heads everywhere. Classrooms are being “flipped” where teachers use technology to deliver content and invest their time in active learning; learning network co-ops are exploding; communities are being turned into classrooms; and college is being challenged as the sole gatekeeper to a successful adult life. Funny, real, and forward thinking, this presentations will inspire parents, teachers, not to reform schools but to re-imagine what education can be, to dare its potential, from the ground up.
- School Sucks. After School Shouldn't
Jonathan Mooney knows first hand the transformative power of after school programs. During the school day, he was one of “those kids”. The kid chilling out with the janitor in the hall way or hiding in the bathroom to escape reading class. But in his after school programs, parks and rec robotics program, YMCA soccer league, school district run science programs, he was no longer the stupid, crazy, lazy kid but some one how could learn and be successful. In this personal, humorous, and researched based talk, Jonathan explores the foundational principles of transformative out of school time experiences that change kids lives.
Far from arguing that after school programs should “align” with the school day, Jonathan celebrates the unique pedagogy and values of the after school programs and raises the provocative challenge that the traditional school day should be more like the best after school programs.
- The End of School & The Future of Learning
A biology lesson in a museum, surrounded by paintings. Classes on happiness instead of the quadratic equation. Getting an “A” for being the best student at handling failure. In scattered pockets across the country, often unknown and unseen, a revolution is quietly brewing. Parents and educators are turning education on its head, radically reconceiving both its purpose and its forms. A growing insurgent movement of parents, educators, thinkers, entrepreneurs and activists are dragging the education system kicking and screaming into the 21th century. And they’re supported by findings from the learning sciences, information technology, and a rapidly evolving understanding of human thriving, which are challenging every aspect of our antiquated education model, from its pedagogy to fiscal structures.
- One of Those Kids
Jonathan Mooney was one of “those kids”: One of those Kids who couldn’t sit still and spent elementary school chilling out with the janitor in the hallway.
Couldn’t keep his mouth shut, so he spent middle school on a first name basis with Shirley, the receptionist in the principal’s office; And one of those kids who spent much of high school hiding in the bathroom to escape reading out loud with tears streaming down his face. Growing up he had ever label under the sun: The Bad kid, the dumb kid, the “at risk kid”, the special ED kid. He was diagnosed with dyslexia in fourth grade, dropped out of school for a time in sixth grade and had a plan for suicide when he was 12 years old. He had many low expectations that surrounded him. He was told he would be a high school drop out; he was told he would flip burgers for a living, and he was told that people like him usually end up incarcerated.
But he beat those odds, graduating from Brown University with an honors degree in English lit. How did he do it? That question is the heart of the Jonathan personal, humorous, and research based talk: Learning Outside the Lines. In this presentation, Jonathan explores three ideas that changed his life and that all educators can adopt to support vulnerable and at risk learners. He provides concrete strategies to support teachers in building a positive learning identity when many students like him self believe they are “stupid, crazy, and lazy”; he outlines a strengths based approached the gives teacher concrete idea on how to scale students strengths and build contextualized learning pathways; and he explores the power of student teachers connections and relationships as the foundation of transformative learning environments. And through all of this, Jonathan celebrates educators as change agents and education as a powerful tool for personal and social transformation.