The podcast issue
We thought everyone could use a little break from screen time, so this month we’re listening to podcasts. You’ll find some thought-provoking discussions and advice. You’ll also find resources for doing podcast projects with students — a great opportunity to amplify questioning skills, build media literacy, dig into content, and engage in authentic conversations.
‘Curiosity is deviant’
This quote from Ian Leslie, author of Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It, serves as the launch pad for a fascinating conversation on the Teach Different podcast. RQI’s Sarah Westbrook joins hosts Dan and Steve Fouts for a discussion that touches on power dynamics, innovation, and classroom culture — and how it’s all connected to curiosity and questioning.
The power of inquiry in times of uncertainty
Warren Berger, author of A More Beautiful Question, and Sarah Westbrook joined Drew Perkins on the Teach Thought podcast at the beginning of the pandemic. This snapshot in time reveals some important lessons. As Berger mentions in the podcast, “Questioning is actually the tool for helping us deal with the unknown. It’s the thing we use when we don’t know what is in front of us.”
Curiosity and community engagement
“Public education is the bedrock of democracy. We have to teach our students to be thinkers, to ask questions,” according to Dulce Carrillo, supervisor of public engagement for Arlington Public Schools in Virginia. She joins host Lynn Borton on the Choose to Be Curious radio show for a discussion about curiosity, decisions, and community engagement.
Educators want students to ask the questions
RQI’s co-founders, Luz Santana and Dan Rothstein, speak with Robin Young, host of NPR’s Here & Now, about their book, Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions.
Six keys to effective parent-teacher conferences
Luz Santana talks to Larry Ferlazzo, host of Education Week’s Classroom Q&A podcast, about effective ways to have parent-teacher conferences. She’s joined by teachers Leticia Skae and Tara Dale.
Partnering with parents to ask the right questions
Luz Santana and Dan Rothstein sit down with Larry Jacobs on Education Talk Radio to discuss their book, Partnering with Parents To Ask the Right Questions.
Podcasting in the classroom
Producing a podcast can be a powerful learning experience. The Question Formulation Technique can act as a springboard to help students prepare interview questions, guide background research, and create gripping episodes. Here are resources to start podcasting with students:
Project Audio: Teaching Students How to Produce Their Own Podcasts, from the New York Times, and Starting Your Podcast: A Guide For Students, from NPR, contain ideas and nuts-and-bolts advice. The QFT can be particularly effective for coming up with interview questions and conducting good interviews. To hear examples of student work, check out the Winners of Our Fourth Annual Podcast Contest from the New York Times.
The Youth Media Challenge from KQED Learn offers a way for students to have their podcasts published online, with the chance to be aired on the radio. Podcasting with the California Report is a state-centric challenge, but it offers great tips for all podcasters.
StoryCorps is another opportunity for students to record meaningful conversations — and use the QFT to come up with great questions! Those conversations are archived by the Library of Congress, where they become part of the historical record. Students who are gathering with family for the upcoming holiday might want to participate in StoryCorps’ The Great Thanksgiving Listen.
Podcasts we listen to (and some things we’re reading)
Here are some other podcasts to check out, along with a few recent stories we thought were interesting:
- Harvard EdCast
- The Learning Scientists Podcast
- How I Built This with Guy Raz
- Why PE Matters for Student Academics and Wellness Right Now — KQED’s MindShift
- Who Was Beatrix Potter? — New York Times
- Raising Bread and Curiosity — Teaching with the Library of Congress
Some of you may be interested in these upcoming opportunities from members of the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources community.
The Rural Experience in America: How have rural places shaped the history of the nation and your community? Join the National Council for History Education for a three-part professional development opportunity that focuses on the history of rural America. For more information, visit ncheteach.org.
Library of Congress Junior Fellow Program: The Library of Congress offers a 10-week, paid internship for undergraduate and graduate students to work remotely alongside specialists and curators. Please note that applications are due on November 29. Find more details at loc.gov.
Extending the Reach of Primary Sources — English-Learner Collaborations: The Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies and Emerging America are developing social studies lessons “that strengthen language fluency and literacy for all learners, especially multilingual students.” They’re currently seeking educators from multilingual backgrounds to review lessons. Reviewers will volunteer 1-1.5 hours of their time in December or January. Those interested should contact Alison Noyes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support legal empowerment, donations are matched
Giving Tuesday — a global day of coming together to strengthen communities and make positive change — is November 30. To honor Giving Tuesday, the Right Question Institute is focusing on legal empowerment. For people facing eviction, experiencing domestic violence, fighting discrimination, or dealing with other legal issues, the legal system can seem disempowering and disorienting. Our Legal Empowerment Program teaches methods to help people navigate the legal system and have a voice in decisions that affect them. A generous donor is matching all gifts to RQI’s legal empowerment work dollar-for-dollar (up to $50,000). That means a donation of any amount is worth double its value toward helping people navigate the legal system and have a voice in decisions that affect them. Your support makes a difference, and right now it makes double the difference.