73 episodes

This podcast is all about helping educators and students become better sensemakers and innovators. Each week, we interview experts to uncover the concepts and patterns that help us organize our world. We hope this podcast will inspire our listeners to design creative solutions to complex problems and accelerate innovation in today’s schools.

Conceptually Speaking Trevor Aleo

    • Education
    • 4.9 • 19 Ratings

This podcast is all about helping educators and students become better sensemakers and innovators. Each week, we interview experts to uncover the concepts and patterns that help us organize our world. We hope this podcast will inspire our listeners to design creative solutions to complex problems and accelerate innovation in today’s schools.

    Dr. Andrea Gambino Talks Critical Media Literacy

    Dr. Andrea Gambino Talks Critical Media Literacy

    One of the best things about attending conferences is the conversations, connections, and collaborations that emerge after the sessions are over. Last year, I was lucky to meet Dr. Andrea Gambino at NCTE 2023 in Columbus. Andrea earned her Ph.D. in Education from UCLA in 2023 and is an active co-organizer of the annual Critical Media Literacy Conference of the Americas. Her research and practice draws on her experiences implementing critical media literacy as a tool for advancing self, social, and environmental justice. The passion, sincerity, and depth of knowledge she brings to to her research and practice is incredible and made for a powerful conversation. One of the things that makes Andrea’s research particularly unique is that, in addition to having a rich understanding of how to teach critical media literacy, her scholarship also considers the rich, embodied experiences of teachers wrestling with that work in their classrooms. Andrea is an incredibly engaging conversationalist and really got me fired up about ways we can support teachers and students efforts to better navigate the dumpster fire that is our current political discourse and media ecosystem. There’s much to learn, so enjoy!

    UCLA's Critical Media Literacy Guide
    Dr. Gambino's LinkedIn
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    • 1 hr
    Dr. J Palmeri Talks Multimodality & New Media Pedagogies

    Dr. J Palmeri Talks Multimodality & New Media Pedagogies

    The emergence of ChatGPT has sent shockwaves through many secondary and post-secondary English departments. There’s no shortage of doomsaying and prognosticating about the future of writing instruction, even the discipline itself, in the wake of the large language model revolution. Luckily for us, my guest today is Dr. J Palmeri—Professor of English and Director of the Writing Program at Georgetown University. J’s work exploring the past, present, and future of multimodal composition is some of the richest, most comprehensive scholarship I’ve seen. Better still, J practices what they preach in the classroom. Over the course of our dialogue, J details the ways they use new media pedagogy to learn with students, embrace play, compose for real audiences, hack technology, center learning, and ultimately to rethink teaching and learning. There is no shortage of philosophical questions and practical suggestions, but my favorite part of this episode is the way J situates his work on multimodality within a broader story—one that will likely resonate with many of you. This episode is a powerful reminder of why technology is only a tool. Whether that technology is tactile, digital, or artificial intelligence, there is no replacing the deeply human parts of teaching, learning, and communicating alongside others.

    Faculty Page
    100 Years of New Media Pedagogy (Open Source Book)
    Academic Research (Google Scholar)
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    • 1 hr 12 min
    Dr. Sheena Mason Talks Raceless Antiracism & Literary Studies

    Dr. Sheena Mason Talks Raceless Antiracism & Literary Studies

    For anyone who’s been tuned into Conceptually Speaking for a while, you know I love finding new approaches, perspectives, and frames to tackle complex issues. Despite the fact that’s a staple on the show, my guest for this episode, Dr. Sheena Mason, takes things to the next level. Dr. Mason is an author, professor, and creator of the theory of racelenss. A theory that, in her words, is a creative and forward-thinking approach that helps people stop the underlying causes and effects of racism—the existence of race itself. Unlike naturalists, who see race as biological, or constructionists, who regard race as a social construction, Dr. Mason invites readers to become race skeptics—in other words—to understand that what traits we attribute to race, can be more accurately described by terms like ethnicity, culture, social class, and economic class. For, as she argues in her upcoming book, The Raceless Antiracist, fighting racism by reifying the idea of race is like trying to stop a flood by dousing it with water. In short, Dr. Mason envisions a future that transcends race in ways that allow us to celebrate our shared humanity AND value our many differences. Building on sociologists like Karen and Barba Fields, authors like Toni Morrison and James Baldwin, as well as a bevy of literary scholars and critics, Dr. Mason’s work is paradigm-shifting work. So! Hold onto your brains, listen with an open mind, and brace yourself for a very different look at antiracism work.

    Note: The introduction contains some direct verbiage from the "Racelessness: The Final Frontier" graphic essay.


    The core rules of the theory of racelessness or raceless antiracism are as follows: 
    Our belief in “race” and practice of racialization are not meaningless, because racism and valuable aspects of humanity hide behind what we call “race.” “Race” does not exist in nature for humans or as a social construction. Although we are all racialized by ourselves and others, we are raceless. Race/ism (i.e., racism) is a system of economic and social oppression that requires the belief in “race” and the practice of racialization to subsequently reinforce various power imbalances. Racialization is the process of applying an inescapable social hierarchy—race/ism—along with its attendant power imbalances. Racism does not exist everywhere in the same way and can be overcome.Support the show

    • 1 hr
    Shawna Coppola Talks Literacy For All

    Shawna Coppola Talks Literacy For All

    Complaining about the theory-practice divide in education feels a bit cliche, but there’s a reason why it’s a constant source of conversation and consternation in classrooms, conferences, and academic journals. As someone with their feet firmly planted in both worlds, I’m always excited to connect with other educators who can bridge that divide—and my guest today is an exceptional example of just such a person. Shawna Coppola is a literacy specialist, educator, and author of the recently released Literacy for All: A Framework for Anti-Oppressive Teaching from Routledge. Shawna’s framework is a pretty incredible distillation of a lot of literacy scholarship that informs my work, research, and conversations on this podcast. Our conversation today walks through each of its key principles, and while it’s an expansive dialogue, Shawna’s commitment to more liberatory approaches to literacy teaching is a throughline across the episode. Whether you’re a classroom teacher, administrator, or a professor working with pre-service teachers, this episode has a ton to offer. Enjoy!

    Literacy for All: A Framework for Anti-Oppressive Teaching 
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    • 51 min
    Jeffrey Austin Talks Emergent Strategy and Facilitating Educational Change

    Jeffrey Austin Talks Emergent Strategy and Facilitating Educational Change

    According to the late Octavia Butler, ”God is Change and in the end, God prevails.” Though Butler passed in 2006, her words resonate deeper than ever. And while she’s no longer able to chart out fantastical journeys across the stars, the philosophy that structures her work is one of the principle inspirations for adrienne marie brown’s book, Emergent Strategy. I won’t try to define the scope of Emergent Strategy in my introduction, but at its essence, it’s an orientation, stance, framework, and spellbook for organizing and facilitating change. My guest this week, Jeffrey Austin, is a literacy consultant with Wayne, RESA in South East Michigan, has been using adrienne marie brown’s work to facilitate team meetings, structure professional learning, and support educators across his district. It takes us the whole of the episode to unearth what emergent strategy is and how it might look in an educational context, but Jeffrey’s brilliant explanations and examples were incredibly powerful and tangible. In fact I think this might be one of my most useful episodes yet for educational leaders and organizers. There are a number of reasons for this, but principle among those is the fact that Jeffrey doesn’t just offer platitudes about changing educational systems. He embodies it. If my intro has you curious, consider this episode your primer for diving into the world of Emergent Strategy. Enjoy!

    Jeffrey's Blog
    Emergent Strategy (Book)
    Literacy Essentials: Disciplinary Literacy (6-12)
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    • 1 hr
    Dr. Sarah Jerasa Talks Reading, BookTok, & Digital Literacies

    Dr. Sarah Jerasa Talks Reading, BookTok, & Digital Literacies

    What if I told you there’s a magical place where young people spend hours upon hours discussing, sharing, creating, and theorizing about their favorite books? What if I told you that place was TikTok? Or, more specifically, a corner of TikTok known as BookTok. Well, that’s what this week’s episode is all about. My guest this week is Dr. Sarah Jerasa, Assistant Professor of Literacy at Clemson University in the Department of Education and Human Development. In addition to being a friend of the show and fellow member of the Writing and Literacies Special Interest Group, Sarah is currently researching the impact of BookTok on reading, writing, and creating content about literature. Far from being a random trending topic or flash-in-the-pan hashtag, the discourse on BookTok has already proven to have a major impact on the publishing industry and features millions of book lovers connecting over their most loved and loathed books. Considering the popularity and influence digital spaces have on literacy practices, Sarah believes (and I agree) it’s high time English teachers begin to consider how we can expand “what counts” as literacy in academic spaces. Even if you have no idea what a "For You Page" is or is generally anti-social media, this episode still has some worthwhile food for thought about the relationship between academic literacies, youth literacies, and the future of English Language Arts.

    BookTok 101: TikTok, Digital Literacies, and Out-of-School Reading Practices
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    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
19 Ratings

19 Ratings

Hannah Bender ,

Best of the best!

Relevant and significant for ALL educators. Powerful ideas to push your thinking.

741987Dom ,

The Future of Education!

Educators at all levels and roles should subscribe

Peteyski ,

Great team

These two respected experts are very dedicated to improving teaching and learning for all students and teachers. I’ve interviewed them both for our podcast and they bring excellent insights to every discussion.

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