Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes – The Education Game

Matt Barnes – The Education Game

Matt Barnes is the  Co-Founder and Parent Coach at The Education Game. Over 25 years, he has led hospital departments, distributed $500m in philanthropy, run an education reform nonprofit, served on nine educational boards from university to pre-K, and now coaches parents on navigating the education system. His aim is to help every parent grow kids who are curious, competent, life-long learners.

Matt did quit his job to become a stay-at-home father. After three years as a full-time-dad, he had a new appreciation of the traditional role of mothers and also understood the pressures behind the women’s liberation movement — as he often wanted to burn his “manzier.”

It was in 2014, when Matt launched The Educational Makeover, a learning lab that studied parent decision-making, mindsets, and capacities. Then he launched “The Education Game” in 2020,  a speaking, coaching, blogging, and podcast platform that inspires parents to embrace a 21st-century learning model that shamelessly deemphasizes grades and academic compliance while radically emphasizing learning, problem solving, and student-engagement

He served as Houston’s representative on a national research initiative exploring the challenges facing Boys and Young Men of Color which later became President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative.

Key Takeaways:

00:30 What is Education Game?

02:26 Actionable Advice to a Frustrated Parent

16:21 What’s your Origin Story?

23:20 What about College?

47:34 Baby Steps to Starting in Alternative School

58:55 Screen Time during COVID

01:07:13 Metaphor Comparing Conventional School to Alternative


“Learning happens all the time. You can’t stop your child from learning.”

“Standardization doesn’t fly in the 21st century.”

“Starting a business teaches you so much.”

“The people that were hardest to manage were the people who were just average.”

“Once your child actually starts to adopt a mindset that they are learners, there’s far less work to do.”

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