Ted Dintersmith is a most unusual venture capitalist. He recently co-authored a book with Harvard professor Tony Wagner called “Most Likely to Succeed,” and also produced a documentary of the same name that is critical of rote learning, standardized testing, and no-excuses charter schools.

In this post, EduShyster interviews Ted Dintersmith, and he will surprise you with his candor. He has taken the documentary on the road, to show parents and students the value of project-based learning.

EduShyster asks Dintersmith whether there is any hope, and he tells her to look at any kindergarten and think about ways to capture the spirit and motivation you see there. (That is, unless it is a kindergarten that is subject to standardized testing.)

He answers:

When people say *is there any hope?* I say walk with me through kindergartens all over your state. Look at the the characteristics of every five year old. If we just didn’t screw that up there is every reason to be optimistic. If we could take those characteristics and develop them and make them more powerful through education, there’d be all sorts of reasons for optimism. What kids tell me in state after state—and I’ve now been in 25 out of 50 states with this film—is that when they have the chance to experience project-based learning, they thrive and blossom and develop confidence.

Dintersmith is a huge supporter of projects driven by students’ passions as opposed to adults compelling students to do what they expect of them. This is good news! A venture capitalist who has seen the light.

I am currently reading the book and enjoying it.