Class Dismissed Podcast is here to inspire educators through story and keep them up-to-date with the news that affects them directly.
Plus, we'll leave you with a bright idea in education that you can apply in your community.
So relax and enjoy the lighthearted 30-45 minute episodes, while doing chores around the house or commuting to work.
Regular Co-Hosts include Principal - Kristina Pollard, Teacher- Lissa Pruett, Education Data Expert-Russ Davis, and Journalist- Nick Ortego
We would love to hear from you! If you have a suggestion for the show or want to write to say hello, email us at email@example.com or find us on Twitter @classdismiss
A cognitive psychologist shares his secrets for memorable lesson plans.
Many students can remember details from their favorite television show but struggle with remembering things their teachers say in class. Why is this?
Memory is an intriguing subject. You might think that your most recent memory would always be in front of you, but sometimes we find ourselves at a loss when trying to remember something from 15 seconds earlier, such as what I came into the kitchen for or even where my car keys are!
Meanwhile, other seemingly trivial memories can last our entire lives - for example, why do we remember some advertisements?
Courtesy Dr. Daniel Willingham Facebook
Our guest in Episode 209 of Class Dismissed is here to help us make some sense of memory. He'll also give us some teacher tips on how to make a more memorable lesson plan.
Dr. Daniel Willingham is a psychologist and professor at the University of Virginia. He's also the author of "Why Don't Students Like School?" His book dives into how the mind works and what it means for the classroom.
Willingham wants educators to know that "memory is the residue of thought." In other words, your memory is not a product of what you want to remember or what you try to remember; it's a product of what you think about.
To learn how educators can use this information to their advantage in their lessons, listen to Episode 209 of the Class Dismissed Podcast on your favorite podcast app or iTunes.
All Rights Reserved. Class Dismissed Podcast 2017-2021.
The ABCs of Empathy and how it can make you a stronger educator
In K-12 education, there’s a strong push for STEM education. It’s for good reason, math and science are important. But where should social-emotional learning rank? Psychiatrist Helen Riess, MD, believes we’re in a society that’s ill-equipped to talk about emotion and feelings. Riess thinks we need more than just information in this world to succeed. She believes we need to be taught how to have difficult conversations. We need to engage with people who are not like us.
For Riess, teaching with empathy in the classroom is crucial. So important, she dedicated a chapter in her book just for teachers. Riess, a psychiatrist and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, authored “The Empathy Effect: Seven Neuroscience-Based Keys for Transforming the Way We Live, Love, Work, and Connect Across Differences"
Her book, which is supported by research, answers whether or not empathy is an innate quality. Can it be taught? Or is it just something we’re born with? She also offers tips on how we can develop into a more empathetic person.
“Empathy is not one thing, says Riess. “It’s actually a capacity to perceive and understand and know to some degree what experiences another person is experiencing.” When Riess talks about empathy, she’s speaking about capacity for perception.
Empathy in the classroom
For a student to be motivated, they need to see that the teacher recognizes them as unique individuals, says Riess. There’s nothing more powerful than making meaningful eye contact with students. To show I see you and that you’re not just looking at a blur of faces, says Riess.
Riess suggests that educators should register each student’s eye color in their mind. Don’t say the eye color out loud, but take time to really look at a person’s eyes’ unique color. She says it will build a connection with the individual.
She also suggests teachers should silently “name the affect” when working with students. Affect is a scientific term for emotion.
There’s a well-known phrase, “if you can name it, you can tame it,” says Riess. “If you can name that somebody looks confused. You’re probably going to be a little more conscious of trying to clear up confusion than if you just look at someone’s face and don’t try to name what emotion you’re seeing.”
Riess also suggests that everyone should learn the ABC of empathy
* Acknowledge – when you’re in a difficult situation
* Breathe – take a deep breath. Gives a pause from the trigger to the response.
* Curiosity – as soon as we move to judgment there really is no open door left to show empathy. But if we say ‘I’d like to understand why you did that.’ Once the person is listened to and heard, you might get to a deeper level.
To learn more from Riess, listen to Episode 208 of the Class Dismissed Podcast on your favorite podcast app or iTunes.
All Rights Reserved. Class Dismissed Podcast 2017-2020.
How to teach your students about climate change without a political debate
Are educators doing enough when it comes to climate change?
Purdue University Professors Dr. Daniel Shepardson and Andrew Hirsch believe that right now, climate change is the one topic that isn't adequately covered in classrooms across America - even though this is one of our most pressing environmental issues today.
"It tends to be addressed in a piecemeal fashion," Shepardson says students may touch on it a bit in earth science or biology class, but that's not enough. "There's not really a clearly defined conceptual framework to help teachers to teach about climate change."
That's why Shepardson and his colleague, Hirsch recently co-authored "Teaching Climate Change – What educators should know and can do" in American Educator.
They argue that climate change is the #1 environmental issue. "If we don't address a warming climate, then we are going to find ourselves having to deal with extreme heat, extreme storm events, and food security may become a problem," says Hirsch.
Navigating the political storm.
There's a fine line between educating students about climate change and making it an opportunity for debate.
A lot of teachers will present both sides. Still, the pair say that allowing this kind of discussion in your classroom could backfire if you're not careful to avoid any heated exchanges among classmates who may be on opposite ends with their beliefs about global warming or how humans contribute to its occurrence.
Hirsch says the debate should be about how we deal with the issue. "That's where teachers can engage students in debating the ways we mitigate and adapt to our changing climate.
To get tips on how to teach about climate change and hear our full interview with Hirsch and Shepardson, listen to Episode 207 of the Class Dismissed Podcast. You can listen to the latest episode of Class Dismissed on iTunes here.
All Rights Reserved. Class Dismissed Podcast 2017 – 2020
Stanford sailing coach speaks out about college admissions scandal
The Operation Varsity Blues investigation is a landmark moment for college admissions. More than 50 wealthy parents have been revealed to be participating in an expensive fraud scheme orchestrated by William "Rick" Singer that nets them their kids' spot at some of America's most elite universities.
One of those universities is Stanford. John Vandemoer is a former Stanford University sailing coach, and he was the first person sentenced in the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal.
He is our guest in Episode 206 of Class Dismissed. His interview comes on the heels of the release of his new book, "Rigged Justice."
The book is the candid and true story of how Vandemoer was drawn unwittingly into a web of deceit – it outlines the sophisticated scheme designed to take advantage of college coaches, which plays to the endless appetite for university fundraising.
John Vandemoer, Stanford University's former head sailing coach
Vandemoer admits he took money for the university sailing program, but he maintains he never took money for his personal use. A distinction that separates him from many of the other coaches linked the scandal.
"I was sentenced to a $10,000 fine. Two years of supervised release, and the first six months of that, I had an ankle monitor. I was on house arrest," says Vandemoer.
In Episode 206 of Class Dismissed, Vandemoer walks us through his first encounter with FBI and IRS agents and offers his perspective on how we may be able to get the University admissions process back on track.
He says it's essential for students and parents to realize that there are a lot of great Universities for students.
"We have to stop being obsessed with working on going for the same schools all the time and focusing on the US News and World Reports List," he says. "And also taking financial considerations out of the US News and World Reports List, I think would be really helpful."
To hear our full interview with Vandemoer listen to Episode 206 of the Class Dismissed podcast. You can listen to the latest episode of Class Dismissed on your favorite podcast app or iTunes.
All Rights Reserved. Class Dismissed Podcast 2017-2021
Research: Critical thinking requires practice
Exercising your critical thinking muscle
We now live in a world where Siri, Alexa, and Google can answer straightforward questions in a matter of seconds.
So when it comes to educating our students, there's almost no doubt that teaching our students how to think critically is an essential skill.
Our guest in Episode 205 has conducted research that takes what we know about teaching critical thinking further.
Emily Fyfe is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University. Dr. Fyfe and her colleagues have released their latest findings in a "Scalable, Versatile Approach for Improving Critical Thinking Skills."
Their findings give us insight into how we can strengthen our critical thinking muscles.
What did they do?
Fyfe says they were inspired to do the research because people are honestly not very good at critical thinking.
"Just because you are educated, or you attended a class, or you graduated from college doesn't necessarily mean that you're a better critical thinker, and that seemed like a problem," says Fyfe.
In their study, all participants started the experiment by taking a pre-test and receiving basic training about critical thinking.
But afterward, only one group of participants spent time having "critical training practice."
Meanwhile, a second group received "non-critical thinking practice," and a third group received no practice of any kind.
After the practice, all participants participated in a post-test.
As a result, those in the critical thinking practice scored better on the post-test than the pre-test. However, the people in the other conditions experienced minimal improvements.
To learn more about the study and why it's important to exercise our critical thinking muscles listen to Episode 205 of the Class Dismissed podcast. You can listen to the latest episode of Class Dismissed on your favorite podcast app or iTunes.
All Rights Reserved. Class Dismissed Podcast 2017-2021
Meet the graphing calculator that may break Texas Instruments grip
Somehow the graphing calculator has stayed the same since the ‘90s
Mathematics and engineering students worldwide have long been at the mercy of Texas Instruments, a company that has held an exclusive on graphing calculators for more than three decades. But that did not stop former Apple employee Romain Goyet from trying to disrupt the market.
Goyet applied his engineering and design skills to create the NumWorks Graphing Calculator. It has a sleek aesthetic design and an app-based menu to make using complex graphing calculators easy for any student.
Throwing out the lengthy manual
"When you buy a TI-84, it comes with a user manual that is like 400 pages long. When you buy an iPhone, it comes with a user manual that's like two pages long," says Goyet. "That's a problem in itself."
Goyet says that one could argue that math is complicated and needs instructions, but the disconnect is that the TI-84 manual is not about math. Instead, it's about how to use the tool.
Consequently, NumWorks wanted to fix that.
They did so by not using any abbreviations. Something you see a lot of when using a TI-84. They also drew inspiration from video game consoles. Goyet says the menu works just like a Playstation. You just pick it up and start using it.
One subtle design change was that they moved the arrow key to the left side, making it more natural to teenagers.
The Numworks calculator was initially released in Europe. But about a year ago, it was introduced to the United States.
Teachers say, "I can finally teach and not train my students to memorize weird key sequences," says Goyet.
For Goyet, the end game is for us to break a monopoly and offer everyone an alternative. "The big problem here is that there is really just one option, and that's not acceptable."
To hear our full interview with Goyet, listen to Episode 204 of Class Dismissed.
You can listen to the latest episode of Class Dismissed on your favorite podcast app or iTunes.
Other Show Notes
Impacts of School Entry Age on Academic Growth through 2nd Grade: A Multi-State Regression Discontinuity Analysis
How Toxic Positivity Demoralizes Teachers and Hurts Schools
All Rights Reserved. Class Dismissed Podcast 2017-2021
The co-host segments are interesting and relevant and the guest interviews are first rate.
Brings education topics to the forefront
Often our public education is only discussed when things go wrong. It's great to hear about the positive strides educators are making for our students.
Tune in now
Acoustically sound, interesting information -- Class Dismissed gives a non-filler take on the modern day educator's problems and solutions. Educator or parent? Doesn't matter. Do yourself a favor and get informed.