Larry Espe, Ph.D.
Former Superintendent of Careers and Student Transitions
Ministry of Education
British Columbia, Canada
Larry Espe is a former superintendent of a school district located in northeastern British Columbia, Canada. He has been a teacher, principal and district administrator for over thirty years, and he recently served as the province’s Superintendent of Careers and Student Transitions. His focus has been on curricular transformation at the provincial level and the co-creation of authentic learning experiences for ALL students. He believes interdisciplinary and community based learning opportunities, long considered ‘alternative’, will engage and include students in ways that traditional (“sit and get”) curriculum has not. He asks… “how students can know what they want to be if they don’t know what they can do?”
Current systemic structures act as barriers to possibility and creativity for both students and teachers. He respectfully questions these structures.
In 2010 he and colleague Lesley Lahaye wrote (co-created) their dissertation: Co-creating Schools of the Future: Approaching Change in a Canadian Public School System Through Appreciative Inquiry. The dissertation questions whether the traditional practices in public education are continuing to serve us well. It explores how asset based conversations made possible through a process of Appreciative Inquiry might help a community to examine its schools, determine what is of greatest value to continue doing, and generate possibilities for action and innovation in order to better prepare students for a future world.