Amy and Jon talk with educational innovators about creating ethical learning environments, helping students overcome the effects of trauma, and empowering young people to make change. Tune in weekly.
Solving chronic absence: A whole-school approach (Encore)
We speak with Hedy N. Chang of Attendance Works, who describes the long-term impact on student success of chronic absence in all grades. Framing chronic absence as a truancy issue can increase alienation from school. Distinctions between excused and unexcused absences can unfairly penalize low-income students and students of color. Chronic absence rates may hit 40% this year. Ms. Chang discusses relationship-based strategies for mitigating absenteeism.
Developing public communication skills: Speech and debate team
We speak with Denver English teacher and speech/debate coach Anna Steed about the benefits of speech and debate competition. Students acquire critical communication skills and self-confidence; students of color and low-income students can become more comfortable in majority-white, middle-class environments similar to those they may encounter in college. For many students who have challenging home lives, speech and debate opens up worlds of possibility.
Experiential learning: Where human history and nature connect
We speak with Jackie Broder, director of the Mamakating Environmental Education Center in New York’s Catskill Mountains. The Center abuts the Basha Kill wetland, a vital self-contained ecosystem. It helps students, families, and community members to connect with the area's distinct biodiversity and rich history and to develop an emotional connection with nature.
Cultural responsiveness: is music optional? (Encore)
We speak with Dr. Anne Smith, longtime music teacher in Northern Virginia, about accommodating cultural differences. Dr. Smith created an alternate curriculum for students whose traditions don’t allow secular music-making. We discuss the extent to which parents should be able to influence what their students learn. We also talk about why music and art are treated as lesser (“special”) subjects.
The “Name Game”: racialization in a suburban high school (Encore)
Drs. Tony de Jesus, Anthony Johnston, and Don Siler of University of St. Joseph recount their intervention in a multiracial high school in crisis. White students had instigated a “game” of addressing Black students as the n-word. We discuss the impact of racialization in the Trump era on white students, students of color, and the school community as well as actual and potential responses by schools.
What Would YOU Do?
Today we're here to invite you to watch our new video podcast series "What Would YOU do?". Created in partnership with EdEthics of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, each episode includes a dramatization of an ethical dilemma that could be faced by educators along with a discussion of the case facilitated by Harvard professor Meira Levinson.
We have two episodes available on our website and they are a great resource for PD!
One examines the debate over a form of project-based civics education called Action Civics, in which students research a topic of their choosing and then take action to create change. A parent’s campaign to end the action civics project prompts a high school to examine the purpose of civic education, the rights of young people to influence their community, and the ways that polarized discourse influences schools.
The second episode explores the challenges of teaching about climate change in a community where a large portion of the residents work in the natural gas industry. A new science teacher is surprised when many of her students and their parents object to her lessons on climate change. How far should the beliefs and values of the local community in which a school is embedded inform curricular and other teaching decisions?
To watch, simply go to our website ethicalschools.org and click on VIDEOS. We hope you like it!
I just realized this podcast is on this app- I had been accessing it through an email from Ethical Schools! So I am excited that it is more accessible than I thought it was!
This is a truly vital podcast for educators and anyone interested in schools and democracy.
The interviews are vital and expose a nice variety of thinking and practice that is grounded in care of children, families and communities.
I am very glad for these conversations. They boost my spirit as a teacher!
Great resource for new teachers!
As a new teacher looking for all the practical wisdom I can find, I’ve come to consider Ethical Schools a great resource. At the same time, the podcast is one of the few accesible platforms for people outside of the research and policy world to engage with a diversity of big ideas and issues related to education. I really appreciate the thoughtfulness with which Amy and Jon approach each episode and the consistent high quality of the quests they invite on to the show.
I don’t usually like listening to interview heavy podcasts, but Amy and Jon seem to ask the right questions and invite such interesting guests, that basically each episode contain very compelling stories and information without much back and forth.