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. Led by educators Chris McNutt and Nick Covington, HRP contains reformative school resources, personalized professional development services, podcast, blog, and various materials geared toward changing mindsets in education.

The Human Restoration Project focuses on three elements of progressive education.


What do you care about more than anything else? What defines your life and overall purpose? Sadly, the majority of students, or even adults, struggle in answering 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 purpose.


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 subjective 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.

Systems, Not Strategies

Our educational standards are rooted in a neoliberal system that does little to engage a student’s path to purpose.

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, specialty education that serves every student's capabilities and desires. Education won’t be drastically improved by simplistic teaching strategies. We need to change the system itself to promote student learning.


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 a group of 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 are you selling?

The Human Restoration Project is dedicated to releasing all of our materials for free. There’s no hidden ploy in our work. We stay afloat due to Patreon supporters, who receive our only exclusive resource, Restore Humanity - an electronic magazine with our organized free works. In the summer, we offer accessible professional development, with all resources used released for free.

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.

Lisa Biber

Lisa Biber has been teaching high school English for ten years and yoga for the last three. When she’s not in the classroom or reading a book, she’s with her two kiddos and two stinky dogs.

Nick Covington

Nick Covington teaches Social Studies in Ankeny, 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.


Brennan Dignan

Brennan Dignan is currently the college admissions coordinator for the Harbour School in Hong Kong, and prior was the Assistant Director of Admissions for Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA.  He is passionate about the pursuit of higher education as a means for growth and self-empowerment, particularly for those students disaffected by our current approach to schooling.

Tim Fawkes

Tim Fawkes is a high school music teacher, performer, runner, reader, and cat fancier. He wants to remake schools around the dignity and self-actualization of all people. Process is everything and everything is process.

Ryan Hopkins-Wilcox

Ryan is an international educator, she has worked in Taiwan, Washington DC, Cambodia and Uganda, next up, Kenya. Around the world she has inspired lifelong learning by igniting the power of passion and purpose for others. She works as a designer for learning envisioning the future of school and realizing her dreams through her own journeys within the world of education.


Chris McNutt
Founder / Partner

Chris is obsessed with the benefits of progressive education and wants a practical place to find everything, for free, under one roof (hence the Human Restoration Project!) He holds a Masters Degree in Education from The Ohio State University and is a public high school digital media & design educator.

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.

Eric Schildge

Eric is an English/Drama teacher at Sparhawk School in Amesbury, MA. He collaborates with artists, writers, actors, journalists, and other creative professionals to bring learning to life for students. He believes in the power of live theater to build community and transform people's lives.


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
Co-Founder / Contributor

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 a public high school director.

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.



Mary Walls

Mary Borobia Walls is the founder of Action Driven Inquiry, training educators to foster learner curiosity, creativity, inquiry, agency, and action for a healthier and more sustainable world. A former classroom teacher, she has served as an International Baccalaureate Coordinator in Southern California, pushing student passion and creativity to the forefront in public education.


Patreon Supporters

Lisa Biber

Erin Dowd

Erin Gaudet

Tim Fawkes

R. Steven Gumbay

Jeremiah Henderson

Michael Hyde

Rachel Lawrence

Skylar L. Primm

Victoria Rydberg-Nania

Bill Rider

Mary Walls

Carolyn Wiezorek

Nick Covington

Erin Flanagan

Katie Halford

Stephanie Hurt

Deanna Lough

Nadine Ley

Jenny Lucas

Steve Peterson

Shana Shrader

Paul Wann

Dylan Wince

Bold names indicate members of the Proponent tier. Italic names indicate members of the Supporter tier.