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Episode 1: Silent curriculum

Teach For America’s capacity to attract and train young teachers to serve the historically under-served has yielded remarkable results in the classroom. But what prepares Teach for America’s corps members for the challenges they face on a human level? Listen to how Washington DC’s 2013 Teacher of the Year, Julia King, maintains her own wellbeing out of the classroom in order to support the wellbeing of her students in the classroom.

Episode 2: Three, two, one…zero dropouts

Bringing the high-school dropout rate to zero seems like one of those moonshot proclamations that presidents make in a State of the Union Address. But an organization called Zero Dropouts has helped reduce dropout rates in Colorado by 41% and is now working in states across the nation. Listen to how Zero Dropout’s CEO and President, Steve Dobo, leverages big data, relationships, and strength-based coaching to support kids who have or who are considering dropping out of school.

Episode 3: Good Will HuntingS

The Center for Talented Youth (CTY) at Johns Hopkins University offers gifted kids from all over the world the chance to take university-level courses each summer. In addition to challenging the students academically, CTY campuses come with an engaging and quirky culture that leaves kids, teachers, and staff smiling. Listen to how Academic Dean and Site Director at CTY, Corie Fogg, helps gifted students thrive by helping them find affinity and by helping them find flow.

Episode 4: when Donald Trump upped ap scores

Everyone likes a field trip. But what happens when your government teacher proposes a week-long trip to the New Hampshire primary to meet, amongst other candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? Listen to how Chair of the History Department, Damian Cohen, at the prestigious and progressive Woodside Priory School uses experiential education to improve his students’ AP scores at the same time he promotes their civic capacity.

Episode 5: Pedagogy of the oppressed; pedagogy of the liberated

Rarely do educational scholars look to middle east for lessons in curriculum and pedagogy. Yet amazing things are happening in Iran, where educational training for women enrolled in Muslim seminaries is increasingly progressive, increasingly innovative, and increasingly comfortable “failing forward.” Listen to what Anthropologist of Education and Visiting Lecturer at the University of New Mexico, Dr. Amina Tawasil, learned from Iranian schools and how she has incorporated the lessons into her own university classroom.

Episode 6: A theology for the silicon valley gospel

The Menlo School is an academic powerhouse in Bay Area, California. And its graduates are routinely admitted to the most prestigious universities on the planet. Listen to how high-school teacher, Matthew Nelson, helps these students explore their spiritual side in a notoriously secular and outcome-oriented community.

Episode 7: beginner’s mind for beginners

The benefits of meditation and yoga are well documented. So why do we have to wait until we are stressed-out and over-worked adults to try it out? Listen to how University of Virginia researcher, Jane Doe, teaches mindfulness and movement to elementary students and finds herself learning as much as she is teaching.

Episode 8: voice for the voiceless

No nation on Earth incarcerates a greater percent of its population than the US. And the wide-spread privatization of America’s prisons provides some with an incentive to maintain this status quo. Listen to Bates College instructor and former inmate educator, Dr. John Doe, as he details his efforts to promote the intellectual development and wellbeing of the incarcerated.    

Episode 9: Daraja means bridge

Over the past decade, Kenyan girls have gained access to education in historic numbers. The Daraja Academy, an exemplar and leader in girls education, offers young women in Kenya free secondary eduation that provides them with a bridge toward a more positive future. Listen to school founders, Jason and Jenni Doherty, as they describe what the Daraja Academy means on the level of the head and the heart.