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The Harvard EdCast

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The Harvard EdCast

Harvard Graduate School of Education

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In the complex world of education, the Harvard EdCast keeps the focus simple: what makes a difference for learners, educators, parents, and our communities. The 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 inequities in education. Through authentic conversat ...
 
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Longtime educator Jeffrey Duncan-Andrade thinks schools have been focused on equality for too long and need to fundamentally rethink it. He says equality is not producing the results that schools really need of providing all students with a quality education. While visiting schools many years ago, he noticed educators used the terms "equality" and …
 
Mostly everyone has had some connection to hip-hop, especially students today, according to Harvard Lecturer Aysha Upchurch. It's more than just rap music, hip-hop is a cultural movement consisting of MCing, DJing, breaking, graffiti, and knowledge. It's been a part of our lives for almost 50 years. When we think about education, Upchurch says, it'…
 
Many elementary schools around the nation have little time or support to focus on social studies. It may explain why we see topics like Thanksgiving reduced to simple acts of gratitude or longstanding myths opposed to its more complex history. University of Colorado Boulder Assistant Professor Noreen Naseem Rodríguez says the lack of social studies…
 
Harvard Lecturer Laura Schifter wants more schools taking climate action. Schools are major contributors to climate issues in ways that educators and administrators may not even realize. Schifter says it goes beyond just the high use of energy, but also school buses and high food waste. The good news is schools can do a lot to shift its carbon foot…
 
The latest National Assessment of Educational Progressed showed big declines in students' math performance -- in some cases as low as 20 years ago. The results showcased the effects of the pandemic and in particular how hard it was to teach math, say Harvard experts Heather Hill and Jon Star. In this episode of the EdCast, they share why the scores…
 
Children's imaginations are complicated and impressive, says Harvard Professor Paul Harris. Yet, often times, when we watch children pretending, we write it off as fantasy or child's play. What are educators and parents missing in those moments? How can adults be better informed about the nature of children's thinking? From how children mimic reali…
 
The upcoming election has the potential to greatly shift the landscape many superintendents are working in around the nation. The work of superintendents has never been more challenging, say Senior Lecturer Jennifer Cheatham and Claremont Graduate University Professor Carl Cohn, given the ongoing polarization today. That divide is impacting superin…
 
What can happen when parents challenge a curriculum? How can movements against curriculums take hold? There's a lot more to it than you might think, according to University of Hawaii at Manoa Assistant Professor Ethan Chang. Chang's research explores how a group of white parent activists challenged ethnic studies in California, catching the attenti…
 
What does it mean to be a school leader when the unimaginable happens? Frank DeAngelis, retired principal of Columbine High School, knows the answer firsthand. DeAngelis has dedicated much of his time in the past 23 years since the mass shooting at Columbine High School, helping other school leaders. Today he is part of the growing number of princi…
 
Harvard Researchers Carrie James and Emily Weinstein give the low-down on teens' behavior online. As part of a multiyear study, they surveyed more than 3,500 teens uncovering information about everything from why they sext to how they navigate friendship dilemmas online. What teens do and why is far more complex than many adults give them credit fo…
 
Many school districts are beginning to see pandemic learning losses greater than they imagined. It’s time to figure out what to next, says Harvard Professor Tom Kane, an economist studying catch-up efforts. He wants districts to be empowered to make the best decision going forward. In his latest research, he’s helping districts determine how to pla…
 
Stewart Kwoh believes education is the best tool to fight back against ongoing anti-Asian American violence and damaging stereotypes. As co-executive director of the Asian American Education Project, Kwoh has been dedicated to developing curriculums and trainings for educators. Despite many of the lesson plans and tools being available for free, Kw…
 
Harvard Professor Sarah Dryden-Peterson knows that we can do a lot better for the nearly 30 million refugees in the world. As an expert on refugee education, she says education needs to create better supports for displaced children whose education is disrupted, dominated by exclusion and uncertainty about the future. In her latest research, she sha…
 
A silver lining of the pandemic, says Harvard Professor Fernando Reimers, was the push for education to innovate. Through the pandemic, Reimers set out to study how education systems around the world sought out innovations, even in places that had few resources. While it was reassuring how many education systems worldwide tried to make changes, Rei…
 
Juliana Urtubey, the 2021 National Teacher of the Year recipient, knows firsthand the importance of valuing all parts of a student’s identity. As a first generation, bilingual immigrant, Urtubey brings all parts of herself into the classroom. Today, as a special education teacher working at the Kermit R. Booker, Sr. Innovative Elementary School in …
 
Harvard Professor Dick Light has visited 260 college campuses talking to administrators, faculty, and students to figure out what sets a great university apart from an okay one. It turns out there are simple and affordable steps higher education administrators can do to make impactful changes on their campuses. Light has long studied the work of hi…
 
Since the start of the pandemic, education has grappled with a looming threat of teacher shortages and a mass exodus of teachers. Elizabeth Steiner, a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, has released two studies in the past year exploring job-related stress among teachers and recently school leaders. She says the changing modes of instructio…
 
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