S2 Ep 01 - Teaching as a form of art. Studio Ankori, Israel

On this episode, we talk about

  1. Education underdogs in Israel

  2. Teaching as a form of art

  3. The need to build trust

Guest intro

Osnat Haber Koton is an artist and the visionary CEO of Ankori Educational Network in Israel. She holds a B.A. and a M.A. in Art and Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism from Goldsmiths' College, London and the Jan Van Eyck Academy, Maastricht. She has taught Visual Art and Art History and Theory at the State University of New-York for 3 years, before moving back to Israel.

On her return, besides facing questions of her child’s future education, Osnat took over the struggling family business - a  network of private schools across Israel, where she was once a pupil herself. Over the following 6 years, she totally transformed the network into a renown education brand and launched a visionary new school, inspired by arts - the Studio Ankori, followed by another bold move - Media Ankori.

Listen to this episode to discover the story of education underdogs in Israel and how one fights the government, in the Supreme Court, for the right to open a new type of school. This episode is packed with wisdom, pragmatic approaches to running an educational institution and fun stories.


Show notes

About the guest

5:00 - Lessons from 2018

6:00  - Getting into education by chance, seeing parents and kids abused by the system.

7:20 - The gift of conversations 

7:50 - On failure and success


Ankori Story

10:40 - The new Jew identity and the story of Ankori School, since 1948 

18:30 - The family heritage and business

20:30 - From New York to Israel - the new Ankori leadership

22:00 - The transformation struggle. Six years to turn around a school network 

27:00 - The inception of Studio Ankori. Necessity is the “mother” of innovation

34:00 - How to get from idea to an operational school. Building on trust

37:20  - The restriction order - fighting the government in the Supreme Court 

41:35 - A chance for starting from scratch

44:00 - Change of convictions over time. Education is a form of art, playful and fun

45:00 - Expanding Ankori model across verticals / geographies. Media Ankori


Studio Ankori Model

47:30 - Season-based learning

54:00  - “No parents allowed” - learning reflections and process over product

57:00 - On competition and focus

1:02:50 - Mixing new pedagogy with preparation for national exams

1:04:00 - On student and staff recruitment  

1:07:00 - On values 


The future

1:10:00 - A vision for the future of  learning / education 

1:13:00 - Connecting minds for a bigger change

1:16:10 - On classroom technology and ways of thinking ahead

1:19:00 - Moving away from “Factory workers”


Episode Summary

1:20:00 - No shortcuts in learning about education. Get in the field

1:21:00 - If I was a starting teacher

1:23:30 - If I was a teenager / high school student

1:25:20 - If I became the Minister of Education 

1:28:00 - The benevolent dictator.

1:29:00 - Open mic

1:32:00 - Questions for future podcast guests.