In the complex world of education, we keep the focus simple: what makes a difference for learners, educators, parents, and our communities.The Harvard EdCast is a weekly podcast about the ideas that shape education, from early learning through college and career. We talk to teachers, researchers, policymakers, and leaders of schools and systems in the US and around the world — looking for positive approaches to the challenges and inequties in education. Through authentic conversation, we work to lower the barriers of education’s complexities so that everyone can understand. The Harvard EdCast is hosted by Jill Anderson, and produced by the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The opinions expressed are those of the guest alone, and not the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Despite family meal times being hugely beneficial to kids, only about 30% of families manage to eat together regularly. Anne Fishel, executive director of the Family Dinner Project, knows it's not always easy to find that time but it also doesn't have to be so hard. Through her work, she helps families find fun, creative, and easy ways to make meals a reality. As many families adjust to stay-at-home orders from the Coronavirus, there is a silver lining in that now there is time to enjoy a family meal or two.
With many schools closed around the country due to the Coronavirus, educators and parents may have growing concerns about how long students can go without formal instruction. Jennifer McCombs, a senior policy researcher for the RAND Corporation, has long studied the effects of summer break on learning -- particularly for at risk students from low-income families or students performing below grade level. In this episode of the EdCast, McCombs discusses how what we know from summer learning loss might guide educators, districts, and parents as they set forth on learning when school is closed.
This newest generation of college students know that algorithms tend to skew the truth online, but many feel it is par for the course. Alison Head, a researcher and director of Project Information Literacy, explores how algorithmic-driven platforms are shaping the ways college students access news and information and its potential to change the college landscape.
Many school districts are facing challenging decisions about how to prepare and respond to the novel Coronavirus including whether to close and try distance learning. Harvard Epidemiologist Bill Hanage and Education Ethicist Meira Levinson explore the public health issue and its potential impact on schools and families. They also offer guidance for practitioners and parents.
Harvard Lecturer Laura Schifter explains disproportionality and why so many students of color are placed in special education, often in separate classrooms from their peers. While income status is sometimes accepted as the reason behind this phenomenon, Schifter says that doesn't tell the full story. In this EdCast, Schifter shares recent research into this issue and discusses the challenges facing special education.
There's much debate in the literacy world about what's the best way to teach children to read. With two out of three children struggling to learn to read, the nation is questioning what actually works. Harvard Professor James Kim discusses why learning to read is so challenging and shares how his latest model called MORE offers another way.
Children aren't the only people compromising their privacy online. Grown ups are also taking to to digital media and technology, and oversharing information about the children in their lives too. Leah Plunkett, a law professor and parent, wants adults to think twice before talking about children online. In this episode of the Harvard EdCast, Plunkett, author of "Sharenthood: Why We Should Think Before We Talk About Our Kids Online," discusses all the way adults -- including educators -- overshare details about children and how to take steps to safeguard their actions.
When Joe Feldman, author of Grading for Equity, looked closer at grading practices in schools across the country, he realized many practices are outdated, inconsistent, and inequitable. Today he helps educators develop strategies that tackle inconsistent grading practices. In doing so, Feldman tells the Harvard EdCast how shifting grading practices can change the landscape of schools and potentially the future for students.
Although more children have developmental language disorder (DLD) than autism -- most people have never heard of it. Dr. Tiffany Hogan, the director of the Speech and Language Literacy Lab at MGH Institute, wants greater awareness of this language disorder, especially among educators and parents. In this episode of the Harvard EdCast, she discusses what DLD is and how it can affect children's learning ability.
Many educators struggle with unconscious bias in their roles at school -- often in ways that can unknowingly perpetuate racism and negatively affect students. In this episode of the EdCast, Tracey Benson and Sarah Fiarman offer ways to address these issues directly and outline how educators can start this work in their schools. Benson, an assistant professor at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Fiarman, director of leadership development at EL Education, are authors of the new book, Unconscious Bias in Schools.
When many people see the college price tag, they believe it's financially out-of-reach. But Wellesley College Professor Phillip Levine, who studies college affordability, says that people often don't realize there's a difference between the price of college and what a family might actually pay. Through the development of Myintution.org -- an online tool that helps families uncover the actual cost -- he hopes more students will achieve their college dreams.
Harvard Professor Andrew Ho thinks test scores can often simplify how we view student performance, school effectiveness, and educational opportunity. By taking a more comprehensive look at data like test scores and learning rates in districts, we may be able to better identify and contextualize how well a school is doing beyond just average test scores. In this episode of the Harvard EdCast, Ho discusses his work with the Educational Opportunity Project at Stanford University and how it provides data to help scholars, policymakers, educators, and parents learn how to improve educational opportunity for all children.
Many college and university leaders recognize the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work being done on their campus, but that doesn't always mean it's done for the right reasons. In this episode of the Harvard EdCast, Richard Reddick, associate dean for equity, community, engagement and outreach at the University of Texas at Austin, discusses the rise of DEI work in higher education and how this work should create more courageous spaces on college campuses.
Students are struggling with mental health issues on college campuses. Dr. Stephanie Pinder-Amaker, a founding director of McLean Hospital's College Mental Health Program in Massachusetts, says there's a lot of things we can all do to help the college mental health crisis. Pinder-Amaker discusses the factors leading to mental distress on campus, how colleges can create better responses, and really how everyone plays an important role in this issue, especially what happens long before students get to college.
Sociologist Rebecca London knows recess is an afterthought in many schools day. Too often, it's just seen as a break or a way to get some physical exercise for kids. She wants to see educators rethink how to use that time to better support young students. In this episode of the EdCast, London shares ideas from her new book, "Rethinking Recess," how to create a more inclusive recess, and why taking away recess -- especially as punishment -- is a bad idea for kids.
David Wilson used college as a path out of poverty. Now, as the president of Morgan State University in Baltimore, he wants that to be the reality for other children too. But, for so many kids today, getting to college and paying for college is a challenge. After 25 years in higher education leadership, President Wilson grapples with issues of access for students every day. In this episode of the EdCast, he talks about why this is a pivotal time to change higher education and how to tackle issues of rising costs associated with college.
Dr. Janice K. Jackson knew taking the role as CEO of the Chicago Public Schools would be challenging. She has inherited a history of problems in the district, but refuses to make her leadership about the blame game. In this episode of the EdCast, she discusses how she's facing the challenges before her. Even with a teacher strike looming, Jackson's pragmatic leadership and "We'll get through it" attitude frames her decision-making as the head of the third largest school district in the country.
The books children read in the classroom today look a lot like they did decades ago. Kim Parker, cofounder of #Disrupttexts, wants to change that. In this EdCast, she addresses the challenges facing educators trying to diversify books in their classroom. With diverse books regularly appearing on the American Library Association's most challenged and banned books in libraries and schools, Parker discusses this and our inability to move beyond the literary canon. She offers ideas for educators trying to take steps to incorporate diverse books in their practice and how parents can be supportive allies in the process.
Regardless of how you might feel about immigration, Harvard Professor Roberto Gonzales thinks we need to better understand its implications and how it affects everyday life of immigrants and beyond. In this episode, Gonzales discusses the immigration crisis in America and his new effort, the Immigration Initiative at Harvard, to connect researchers, policymakers, and immigrant communities together in dialogue, supportive action, and shared learning.
Harvard researchers Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine talk about what they discovered while studying nontraditional, innovative high schools, and what we can learn from the pockets of great work happening around the country.
In this EdCast extra, Harvard Senior Lecturer Richard Weissbourd along with Nicolas Burgess, 17, and Dequan Franks, 19, from Jacksonville, Florida, speak about the EVAC movement, experiences as "at-risk" youth, and address the immense inequities facing some students.
Vanessa Siddle Walker, professor of African American educational studies at Emory College, discusses the role of black educators in desegregation efforts and why school integration didn't end up working as hoped.
Sepehr Vakil, an assistant professor at Northwestern University, talks about the importance of looking at computer science education beyond just the technical – and what a more ethical and power balanced computer science course might look like in education.
Justin Driver, a professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School, reflects on the history of Supreme Court education rulings and foreshadows legal issues that may be percolating in public schools today.
Tony Jack, author of The Privileged Poor and assistant professor at Harvard, discusses the experiences of low income students as colleges try to diversify student population, and ways we can change it for the better.
Todd Rogers, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and also director of the Student Social Support R&D lab, talks about discovering an effective intervention against chronic absenteeism, how to get more students back in class, and what seems to work in targeting absent students.
Dr. Stanley Andrisse, director of From Prison Cell to Ph.D., shares his story and discusses the school to prison pipeline, and how higher education can remove barriers for formerly incarcerated people so they can use education to transform their lives.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf shares why she has focused so much of her term on education, and particularly the creation of Oakland Promise, which aims to get more kids to acquire postsecondary education.
Craig Paxton, executive director of Axium Education, shares the work being done to reach the millions of children living in rural communities throughout South Africa and the importance of providing education for this population.
Ben Trachtenberg, an associate professor of law at the University of Missouri, gives an insider look at what happened during the 2015 Mizzou protests that led to resignations, decreased enrollment rates, and budget cuts.
Stanford Professor Sean Reardon talks about the downward trend in private school enrollments, what this tells us about the middle class in America, and why it’s important for everyone to pay attention to who goes to private school.
Doris Santoro, an associate professor at Bowdoin, explores how many teachers are demoralized not burnt out in the profession. She also discusses how school leaders can stave off this phenomenon and gives sound advice for teachers.
Early childhood education expert Junlei Li spoke to the Harvard EdCast recently about the meaning of high quality in early childhood education, how Fred Rogers' legacy influenced his work, and what deep and simple actually looks like in practice.
Stanford University's Denise Pope, also co-founder of Challenge Success, shares what we need to think about when it comes to choosing summer enrichment programs for our children, and offers some alternatives to children's rigid academic programs in the summer.
UC-Berkeley Professor Calvin Morrill talks about how a high school changed with increased security policies, and shares some perspective on how this might inform the current debate about school security.
Jackson Katz, an educator, activist, and creator of the Mentors in Violence Prevention program, discusses the significant role men play in preventing gender violence and creating more gender equality in light of movements like Metoo.
John Wilson, former president of Morehouse College and former executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, talks to Domonic Rollins about educating black boys, obstacles on the road to college, and other issues affecting student equity.
Elmo (along with executive vice president Sherrie Westin) from Sesame Street visit the Harvard Ed School campus to discuss the global work Sesame Workshop is doing to educate young children displaced by conflict and persecution.
Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris shares how childhood adversity creates toxic stress that can impact health long term, and particularly how intervention and response through collaborative efforts can significantly alter children's futures.
MIT Professor Mitch Resnick, author of “Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play”, talks about creativity in learning and explains why kindergarten is the greatest invention of the last millennium.
Journalist Linda Wertheimer, author of Faith Ed: Teaching about Religion in an Age of Intolerance, looks at the challenges faced by public schools when incorporating lessons about world religions into their classrooms.
Chinese-American journalist Lenora Chu arrived in Shanghai in 2010 with her family enrolling her son in a top-performing school. Chu discusses the culture clash she experienced in her book, “Little Soldiers: An American Boy, Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve," and what America could learn from China.
Jeff Perrotti, founding director of the Safe Schools Program for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning, discusses issues facing transgender students and how schools can provide support.
Helen Janc Malone, Ed.D.’13, and Santiago Rincón-Gallardo, Ed.M.’07, Ed.D.’13, discuss trends reshaping the field of education and their new book, Future Directions of Educational Change: Social Justice, Professional Capital, and Systems Change.
Maureen Costello, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project, reflects on the historical and current importance of providing anti-bias education resources — and how they can better society.
University of Central Arkansas Assistant Professor Jesus Cisneros, also cofounder of DREAMZone, discusses the unique challenges facing undocumented students and higher education, and how to keep the dream alive.