33 episodes

Join us in exploring the many facets of adolescence from the adverse, to the awkward, to the awesome! Host Jason Cascarino and his guests, including educators, researchers, developmental scientists, thought leaders, and other caring adults, tell us why middle school can and should be awesome.

Lessons in Adolescence Youth-Nex: Remaking Middle School

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 7 Ratings

Join us in exploring the many facets of adolescence from the adverse, to the awkward, to the awesome! Host Jason Cascarino and his guests, including educators, researchers, developmental scientists, thought leaders, and other caring adults, tell us why middle school can and should be awesome.

    Mini Lessons on Racial Identity

    Mini Lessons on Racial Identity

    In the Lessons in Adolescence podcast we feature conversations with researchers, practitioners, program developers and advocates. Drawing content from our past two seasons of episodes, we are offering a series of Mini Lessons on important topics relating to positive early adolescent development and effective middle level education. This mini lesson is about Racial Identity.
    Issues of institutionalized racism and discrimination are roadblocks that school systems nationwide are continuously working through. As young people, middle schoolers can be extremely susceptible to trauma and demonstrations of violence involving race relations. In this mini lesson, we explore how crucial it is to provide students with the accurate language and context to inform their conversations.
    Featuring excerpts with Rob Jagers, Vice President for research at CASEL from episode 3, Dr. Joanna Lee Williams, Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University from episode 1, and Dr. Daren Graves, an Associate Professor of Education and Social Work at Simmons University from episode 20.

    • 10 min
    Mini Lessons on Relationships

    Mini Lessons on Relationships

    In the Lessons in Adolescence podcast we feature conversations with researchers, practitioners, program developers and advocates. Drawing content from our past two seasons of episodes, we are offering a series of Mini Lessons on important topics relating to positive early adolescent development and effective middle level education. This mini lesson is about Relationships.
    Relationships are undoubtedly a vital part of any student’s growth. But how do we begin building these relationships, or rather, what should they look like? We spoke to researchers in the academic field along with students involved in mentoring programs to determine how to best combine knowledge and practice — aiming to produce the best results for middle school students.
    Featuring excerpts with Dr. Kent Pekel, former CEO of Search Institute from episode 6, Dr. Elizabeth Santiago, the former Chief Program Officer of MENTOR from episode 7, and Kiana Dixon and Janikaa Jackson, students at Brooklyn College and consultants with the Center for Supportive Schools from episode 15.

    • 10 min
    Mini Lessons on Summer Learning

    Mini Lessons on Summer Learning

    In the Lessons in Adolescence podcast we feature conversations with researchers, practitioners, program developers and advocates. Drawing content from our past two seasons of episodes, we are offering a series of Mini Lessons on important topics relating to positive early adolescent development and effective middle level education. This Mini Lesson is about Summer Learning.
    Engaging youth in summer learning programs is essential to closing educational gaps and supporting students as they navigate new identities. Research shows that there is demonstrable proof that these programs produce substantial results for middle grade students. In this mini lesson, we explore how summer learning will continue to be an influential tool in guiding youth development and inspiring positive change in student’s communities. 
    Featuring excerpts with Jennifer Macombs, a senior policy researcher and director of the Behavioral and Policy Sciences Department for the RAND corporation from episode 13, Aaron Dworkin, CEO of the National Summer Learning Association from episode 11, Alec Lee, co-founder of Aim High from episode 12, Terrance Riley, Vice President of Programs of Aim High from episode 12, and Nancy Deutsch, a professor of Education at the University of Virginia and a director of UVA’s Youth-Nex Center from episode 13.

    • 10 min
    Lessons with Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg and Dr. Jillian Baker

    Lessons with Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg and Dr. Jillian Baker

    This episode features a conversation with Dr. Ken Ginsburg and Dr. Jillian Baker from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Ken is a physician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Founder and Director of Programs at the Center for Parent and Teen Communication (CPTC) at CHOP. Jill is a public health expert and Executive Director of the CPTC. CPTC develops and disseminates a range of tools and resources for parents, family members, caregivers, and adolescents, on a range of issues central to strengthening family relationships. These relationships remain core to healthy adolescent development, despite common perceptions of teens pulling away from their parents and other adults in favor of their peers.

    Ken, Jill and Jason talk about the origins of the Center, the scope of its work, which involves resources and tools for both adults and teens and aspects of research, policy and advocacy, how the current mental health crisis among adolescents is shaping some of the Center’s work, the broad range of issues the Center covers, including racism, reframing adolescence, and the importance of character development in our young people, and some of the future ambitions of the Center and the field.
     
    Additional Readings and Resources
    Center for Parent and Teen CommunicationGrowth and DevelopmentCommunication StrategiesBuilding CharacterHealth & PreventionChildren’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaDrexel University Community Health and Prevention DepartmentOffice of the U.S. Surgeon GeneralAmerican Society of Pediatrics“Identity Development for Teens of Color,” by CPTC faculty affiliate, Joanna Lee Williams

    • 43 min
    Lessons with Joel Daniel Harris

    Lessons with Joel Daniel Harris

    This episode features a conversation with Joel Daniel Harris, Founder and “Executive Dreamer” of TomTod, a nearly ten-year-old youth development nonprofit based in Canton, Ohio that offers summer learning opportunities for middle school aged youth, as well as after school and in-school programming. TomTod provides a variety of community-based, immersive experiences for thousands of youth across northeast Ohio that are deeply influenced by adolescent development and rooted in community and relationships, focusing on what young adolescents are capable of here and now, and not just in the future, which can work to change what most people think of the middle school period. 
    Joel Daniel and Jason talk about the genesis of TomTod, the attributes of summer learning that uniquely resonates with young adolescents, the core elements of the program, which runs throughout the year in and out of school and has a special concentration in the summer months in partnership with an array of community organizations, businesses and institutions. They then talk about the influences of Liberatory Design, positive youth development and social and emotional learning on the program, the complexities of measuring outcomes for programming directed to young adolescents, how TomTod is working to respond to the mental health crisis during this upcoming summer, and what the future holds for the organization in delivering programming as well as building capacity in schools and school systems.
     Additional Readings and Resources
    TomTodCamp What IfLiberatory DesignFive Cs Model of Positive Youth DevelopmentSocial and Emotional LearningLean CanvasRemaking Middle School

    • 36 min
    Lessons with Joyce Pae, Oscar Newman & Shelby Hildreth

    Lessons with Joyce Pae, Oscar Newman & Shelby Hildreth

    This episode features a conversation with three educators working to remake parts of the middle grades experience in a Chicago public school through a Liberatory Design process. Joyce Pae is principal of The Chicago Academy, or TCA, a preK through eighth grade school in the northwest side of the city. Oscar Newman is a National Board Certified science and math teacher at TCA. Shelby Hildreth is the Director of Program Design on the LiberatED Way team at AUSL, which is facilitating the Liberatory Design work at TCA. The process works to engage educators to reflect on teaching and learning and school environment and policy to advance equity in deep, specific and measurable ways.
    Joyce, Oscar, Shelby and Jason talk about The Chicago Academy and the students and community it serves, some of the immediate challenges educators are facing this year as we continue to work through the pandemic, what the Liberatory Design process is, the way it’s being paired with adolescent development to focus on the middle grades, the application of the design process at TCA, the specific equity challenges that were identified and addressed through the process, the ways TCA worked to amplify youth voice and test new strategies that better aligned with adolescent developmental needs, and how educators across different contexts and environments can utilize Liberatory Design to address their own challenges.

    Additional Readings and Resources
    The Chicago AcademyAUSLLiberatED WayLiberatory DesignStanford D SchoolNational Equity ProjectRemaking Middle SchoolLefkofsky Family Foundation

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

james dat yoga dude ,

Relevant

These are a great resource for me as a service provider thank you for the content!

Dennis Schug ,

Thank you!

As an middle school principal for over a decade, I appreciate the value in creating space for us to reflect on how societal events, systems, and structures impact adolescence...and adolescents in 2020 and beyond!

A thought-provoking first podcast episode for the daily commute.

Look forward to many more!

~ Dennis Schug @schug_dennis

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