What I want to know with Kevin P. Chavous
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What I Want to Know’ provides answers to some of the biggest questions in education. As the traditional model undergoes a dramatic shift accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, many are wondering what the future holds. Kevin P. Chavous connects with industry leaders to get their insights on how we can better prepare learners to unlock their full potential, no matter their learning environment. All listeners are encouraged to join the conversation on social media using #WIWTK. For more information, visit www.stridelearning.com/podcast.
episode 31: What is the future of lifelong learning?
When the pandemic began, low-wage workers comprised 43 percent of the U.S. labor force. Today, those same workers account for more than half of those still looking for a job. As a K-shaped recovery threatens to leave vulnerable populations behind, what can we do to help low-wage workers bounce back? In this episode, Kevin speaks with Steve Lee, executive director of the SkillUp Coalition, to explore how upskilling, reskilling, and a renewed commitment to lifelong learning can help level the playing field.
episode 30: How do we encourage diversity in young adult literature?
Why isn’t there more diversity in young adult literature? According to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s report on diversity in young adult children’s literature, more than 40 percent of the main characters in the books it surveyed were white. No other demographic comprised more than 11 percent. Should literature introduce our children to perspectives and viewpoints different from their own? In this episode, Kevin looks to Caroline Richmond, a YA author and the interim executive director of We Need Diverse Books, to discuss why it is important for young adult literature to reflect the cultures, experiences, and perspectives that comprise its readership.
episode 29: How has young adult literature evolved over the years?
Annual sales of young adult fiction reached a new high of $80 million in 2018 and book sales increased nearly 10 percent per year during the pandemic. Why is this genre gaining popularity? How has it changed over the years? And why is it so important for kids in this age group to be engaged in literature? In this episode, Kevin turns to Dr. James Blasingame, an English professor and co-editor of the ALAN Review.
episode 28: What role does e-sports play in our schools?
Before the pandemic, e-sports had grown into a $1 billion global industry. Now, there are more gamers than athletes in U.S. high schools. But how do students benefit from e-sports? Can video games help students become better problem solvers and critical thinkers? Do they drive interest in math and STEM programs? And what career paths exist for gamers? In this episode, Kevin looks to Dr. Robert Rippee, executive director of Black Fire Innovation Hub, to explore the role that e-sports play in our schools.
episode 27: How can we get more kids interested in computer science?
Computer science and IT jobs are expected to grow 13 percent by the year 2030. But less than half of U.S. schools teach computer science as part of the core curriculum. How can we get more kids interested in computer science at an early age? And what should our schools be doing to ensure our students are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow? In this episode, Kevin speaks with Jackie Smalls, the Chief Programs Officer at Code.org, to explore the benefits of computer science programs in K–12 schools.
episode 26:What is the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our schools?
As our nation debates questions of racial and social injustice, school districts are getting serious about diversity, equity, and inclusion. But what challenges await leaders who push a diversity, equity, and inclusion agenda? How should they respond to those who may not agree that these programs are needed or appropriate? And how do we strike the balance that ensures every student feels safe and supported at school? In this episode, Kevin speaks with Dr. Rydell Harrison, program coordinator at Partners for Educational Leadership, to hear his insights around the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our schools today.
episode 25: What does critical race theory mean for our students?
This year we’ve seen 28 states consider measures that would restrict education on racism, bias, or the historical contributions of specific ethnic groups. Much of the debate has centered on critical race theory and its place in our schools. But do we really understand the implications? What exactly is critical race theory? And what is its place in the larger conversation about efforts to strengthen diversity and inclusion in America’s schools? In this episode, Kevin looks to Rep. Chris Mathias, a member of the Idaho House of Representatives, to explore what critical race theory really is, what it means for students, and how it’s been politicized in recent months.
Episode 24: What do preschoolers need from their teachers and schools?
We all know that preschool is an important first step in a child’s learning journey. But what are the pillars of a strong preschool curriculum? And how can we better support young children who have gone through trauma or adverse childhood experiences? In this episode, Kevin speaks with Kai-lee Berke to find out what preschoolers really need from their teachers and schools and how we can work together to deliver the most effective support.
episode 23: How can we support veterans transitioning into the workforce?
Two hundred thousand armed service members transition into civilian life each year. And more than half say that joining the private sector is much harder than they expected. What can we do to ease the transition for those who serve? And how can we help them learn the new skills they will need to succeed? In this episode, Kevin invites veteran Airforce intelligence officer Brian Niswander to share what he’s learned about the transition process and how we can help veterans succeed.
episode 22: Is early childhood education a springboard for academic success?
During the 2019–2020 school year, more than 1.6 million children were enrolled in preschool programs across the United States. But is early childhood education really a springboard for academic success? What are kids able to learn and absorb at this age? And are we striking the right balance between the ABCs, the 123s, and the social interaction that’s vital to healthy development? In this episode, Kevin speaks with clinical psychologist Dr. Michael Troy to understand preschools and the science of how young minds learn and grow.
episode 21: How can schools and families better address bullying?
When it comes to bullying, one of the most heartbreaking statistics is that 40 percent of victims believe they will be bullied again. What can we do to break the cycle? How should parents, teachers, counselors, and administrators respond? In this episode, Kevin speaks with Dorthy B. and Conway Brooks, a student and her parent, who experienced bullying. They’re sharing their story to help us understand where we are falling short and inspire us to do better.
episode 20: What can we do to ensure all children feel safe at school?
One out of every five children in the United States has been a target of bullying. And many more choose not to report being bullied. But what do we really know about bullying today? In this episode, Kevin speaks with Julie Hertzog, director of Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center, to discuss how the definition of bullying is changing, how we can spot it, and how we can make sure that all kids feel safe and supported at school.
episode 19: Are we doing enough to support Hispanic and Latino students?
Hispanic and Latino students account for one quarter of the students in our nation’s public schools. The 2020 census shows that they are the fastest growing population in the United States. But what do the census results really mean for America’s educators? Are we doing enough to prepare for an influx of Hispanic and Latino students? In this episode, Kevin speaks with Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF, to discuss how America’s schools can prepare for and support Hispanic and Latino students.
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