Students and teachers are human beings. Schools must bring this to light.


The Human Restoration Project (HRP) is an educational movement to transform school systems, restoring students as human beings rather than a vessel for standards. Founded in 2018 by educators Chris McNutt and Michael Payne, HRP contains reformative school resources, personalized professional development services, a weekly podcast, blog, and various materials geared toward changing mindsets in education.


The Human Restoration Project promotes three major facets of progressive education.


Passion is at the Core

What do you care about more than anything else? What defines your life and overall purpose? Sadly, the majority of students, or even adults, can't answer these questions.

Sometime between kindergarten and high school, a person's passion has dissipated. Forced learning of irrelevant subject matter and a lack of human-centered development means that the average student is never exposed to their unyielding life goal.

Passions must be explored. Because our society is increasingly apathetic and consumerist, we must be the advocates for our students and teachers to realize their passions.

Creativity is Paramount

All innovations are a result of creativity. Creatives are the game changers of society to move our world forward. However, schools do not function to embrace, or even encourage, creativity.

Schools are primarily designed with one thing in mind: data-driven instruction. Our entire system rests on test data, which is meant to exemplify "learning." However, these objective tests will always have one only one correct answer.

Schools must express a system that reaches to the heart of a student's imagination and tap into their spirit, reminding them that there are always multiple answers to given problems.

Ed. isn't Standardized

Our educational standards are rooted in the Industrial Revolution - preparing an adequate workforce to obey directions for factory life.

According to data from Northeastern University, only one in five people use mathematics beyond an elementary level. Our country is one of the least democratically engaged, but drills students in US Government every year. The same core books are assigned in English classes, but reading rates are declining rapidly.

There needs to be a movement that reforms our current system of schooling and embraces local, speciality education that serves every student's capabilities and desires.

Let's talk about progressive education.


Things Fall Apart is our weekly podcast that dissects, analyzes, and entertains all forms of progressive thought and practice.


Our blog chronicles our thoughts on teaching practices (old and new), common issues in school, and methods of encouraging education reform.


We provide a variety of free, high-quality resources for progressive educators. From projects to professional development kits, we've got your back.


Instilling progressive education into a school is life-changing for students and teachers alike. Imagine a child growing up surrounded by creative pursuits, imaginative wonder, and the discoverable sense of education that is prevalent across every kindergarten classroom. Sadly, our current practices mostly diminish our students' love of learning - together, we can reverse that trend.

The Human Restoration Project offers our specialist view, coordination, and assistance in implementing progressive practices at your school. We will guide your school through our expertise and resources personalized to your school's situation and goals, leaving administration, staff, and students rejuvenated, passionate and ready to rediscover their humanity.


What is the Human Restoration Project?

The Human Restoration Project aims to discuss and provide resources that illuminate, foster, and challenge traditional and progressive educational practices. It is of utmost importance that, when looking deeply into dense topics, we provide places for people to start (especially those who are not accustomed to a progressive view of education). Furthermore, it is paramount that we view progressive education not as a series of buzzwords or acronyms, but instead the bringing to light what we’ve all seem to forgotten: our students, our educators - they are human beings.  We intend to restore that lost humanity - having administrators, educators, and students remind themselves of, and engage with, their passions and dreams.

Who are you?

In short, we are two progressive educators seeking to change, the best we can, the schooling system via spreading our message, providing resources, and enabling teachers with our vision. Overtime, we have gathered multiple contributors who share, bolster, and instill new thinking of progressive ideas.

What is “progressive education”? What does it mean to "restore humanity"?

We define progressive education as a movement from traditional school into three core values: passion is the core of education, creativity is paramount for students and staff, and that learning is not a standardized practice. Our school systems are deconstructing humans into vessels of content rather than embracing their humanity: skills, talents, personalities, loves, and so much more. Our overall goal is to ensure that students are truly the focus of education.

Who is your audience - who should listen?

Our work is primarily aimed at K-12 educators, including homeschoolers. We want to persuade traditional educators to our line of thought, and recognize, discuss with, and validate progressive thinkers. Of course, students and other professionals are welcome to engage as well.

Can anyone embrace "progressive education"?

No matter what your circumstance - anyone can embrace progressive education - even at the most traditional of schools. This comes with a caveat; you must be willing to take risks in the name of your students. If we know what's best, it's time to fight for it. It's time for us to restore humanity. 


Mark Barnett

Mark Barnett is the Learning Experience Designer/Head of Makerspace at Harbour School Hong Kong. Mark is dedicated to developing makerspaces that have all children succeed in learning by doing. He maintains a blog documenting his amazing journey.

Nick Covington

Nick Covington teaches Social Studies in Arkeny, Iowa, and promotes progressive education across the board in his classroom. Nick aims to reestablish the idea of what school could be to one of student-centered success that relies on their ideas and knowledge, instead of a dictated “future ready” curriculum.

Marissa Calderón Jiménez

Marissa Calderón Jiménez hosts the podcast, Early Childhood Journeys and is co-moderator/founder of #LatinasInEd. Marissa is a champion of early childhood education and advocates for design thinking, SEL, and revolutionizing the education space for all learners.


Chris McNutt

Chris speaks actively to conferences surrounding best educational practice, invents new ways of learning in his own classroom, and publishes his thoughts surrounding progressive ed. He holds a Masters Degree in Education from The Ohio State University and is a social studies educator at Global Impact STEM Academy in Springfield, OH.

Abe Moore

Abe Moore is a 6/7 Primary Teacher from Adelaide, South Australia, who bolsters progressive education through the encouragement of experiential learning and the gradeless movement. Abe maintains an active blog where he shares well-documented accounts on our need to embrace new lines of thinking.

Monte Syrie

Monte Syrie is an English educator in Cheney, Washington, who operates and writes Project 180 at Let’s Change Education. Monte is recognized for his overwhelming focus on the most important thing in education: relationships - constantly devoting himself to empathy, tolerance, and a welcoming #myroom.


Michael Payne

Michael organizes professional development campaigns for progressive education, reinvents English classrooms, and is an active author of progressive educational practice. He holds a Masters Degree in Education and degree in Educational Leadership from Wright State University. Michael serves as the High School Director at Global Impact STEM Academy.


Mary Wade

Mary Wade was an elementary instructor at an International Baccalaureate school in Utah for 4 years, and now works full-time raising her three young children. Mary operates and shares her thoughts on innovating education on, a non-profit focused on empowering students to take control of their learning.


Proponents (via Patreon)

Matt Laughlin


Erin Flanagan

Matt Laughlin

Michael Hyde

Skylar L. Primm

Victoria Rydberg-Nania

Bill Rider

Annette Laughlin

Jenny Lucas

Nick Covington

Synthia Jester

Whitney Payne

Mary Walls


Question, comment, or concern - we'd love to have your input.

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