What better way to support young kids to be happy and healthy students than to encourage them to play. Unfortunately, that’s not the way we operate in the U.S. Instead, we prioritize test scores and sitting quietly and academically-charged preschools.
It’s no wonder that our youth are depressed and unhappy. We’re so busy believing the myths about education and children that social media and the media feed us that we aren’t looking at the hard facts. That kids are not meant to sit quietly every day. We can’t do that as adults…why are we expecting three-year-olds to?
This week on the podcast, author and early childhood education consultant Rae Pica debunks four big myths about early childhood education. You can hear the passion in her voice when she shares examples from teachers she’s talked to and classrooms she’s visited.
This was such a refreshing conversation from someone who gets it. And I love the tips she shared to help us get active and speak out for the benefit of our kids.
About Rae Pica:
Rae Pica has served as a consultant in early childhood education for more than four decades. The author of 22 books, including her latest, Spark a Revolution in Early Education: Speaking Up for Ourselves and the Children, Rae is also a keynote speaker and online course creator. In her role as a consultant, she has been trusted by such organizations as the Sesame Street Research Department, National Head Start Association, the Chicago Children’s Museum, and Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues. Rae is most proud of her fierce defense of childhood.
Jump in the Conversation:
[1:36] – Rae’s mission for early childhood education
[2:22] – Children are unhappy and depressed
[4:26] – Common themes that keep coming up in working with many organizations
[6:12] – Teachers are required to put worksheets in front of kids rather than teach in a way that respects the kids
[10:23] – Myths of early childhood education
[22:06] – Turbo Time
[24:40] – What people need to know about experiential learning
[27:41] – Rae’s Magic Wand
[29:51] – Maureen’s Takeaways
Links & Resources
- Follow Rae on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- Spark a Revolution in Early Education: Speaking Up for Ourselves and the Children by Rae Pica
- Smart Moves: Why Learning is All in Your Head by Carla Hannaford
- U.VA. Researchers Find that Kindergarten is the New First Grade
- International Play Association
- How Finland Keeps Kids Focused Through Free Play
- Email Maureen
- Maureen’s TEDx: Changing My Mind to Change Our Schools
- The Education Evolution
- Facebook: Follow Education Evolution
- Twitter: Follow Education Evolution
- LinkedIn: Follow Education Evolution
- EdActive Collective
- Maureen’s book: Creating Micro-Schools for Colorful Mismatched Kids
- Micro-school feature on Good Morning America
- The Micro-School Coalition
- Facebook: The Micro-School Coalition
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 0:03
Hello fellow parents and educators. Thank you for joining me at Education Evolution, where we are disrupting the status quo in today’s learning models. We talk about present day education, what’s broken, who’s fixing it, and how. I’m Dr. Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your host and founder of education evolution, micro school coalition, and co founder of active, I consult and train with schools and leaders who are fiercely committed to changing the narrative, reimagining the education landscape, and creating learning that serves all children and prepares them to thrive. If you are new, welcome to the podcast. Please subscribe on our website to get it delivered to your inbox weekly. If you’ve been around a while, have you left a review?
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 1:08
Hi, Rae, it is so good to have you on Education Evolution.
Rae Pica 1:12
Thanks, Maureen. I’m really thrilled to be here.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 1:16
And listeners today I’m chatting with Rae Pica, early childhood educator consultant extraordinaire, author of 20 Toolboxes.
Rae Pica 1:25
Yeah, the one coming out in a week is the 22nd
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 1:29
Oh my gosh, super exciting disease. And Rae, you are on a mission to advocate for early childhood education ecde. We know our schools must evolve to serve all learners. Where did the story of school transformation begin for you?
Rae Pica 1:49
Oh, my well, just through the things I’ve changed. I’ve been in this field for 42 years, which I can’t even believe I’m saying, you know, through the years, I’ve seen so many changes, and the vast majority of them have been bad, you know, they just haven’t been good changes. Children don’t seem to be allowed a childhood anymore. And I mean, we’ve all heard the University of Virginia study that, you know, kindergarten is the new fourth grade and, and the curriculum has been pushed down to preschool and the children are unhappy, they’re depressed, they’re anxious, they’re frustrated. And this is not what childhood is supposed to be. And the teachers aren’t doing all that well either because they’re being required to teach in ways that they know aren’t light for the children, you know, it’s so I’ve just gotten angrier and sadder and sadder as the years gone on. And, you know, I’m I’m, I’m always spouting off about something. So
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 2:51
you know, I agree. And I’ve also had my share of decades in that business. We just took our students on a camping trip in September, and this is middle and high school kids. And it was such a joy to see them have time for an structured play. Our culture is so into Okay, now we go to karate. Now we go to Boy Scouts. Boy, I got to hop on my bike and just lay and ride and be home for dinner as a kid. I feel that same sadness that our kids aren’t getting that childhood play that we got.
Rae Pica 3:26
Yeah, exactly. I mean, we had actual childhoods back in the day. And you know, you talk about the unstructured time that’s that’s come on. And I always think it’s so interesting that in a country that talks about the pursuit of happiness, we don’t seem to put a lot of emphasis on recreation or joy, or you know, any of that. How are we supposed to pursue happiness when we’re scheduled every moment?
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 3:53
Very good point. And Rae, I just want to stop in mention to the listeners a little bit. This is in the show notes. But you are not just somebody with a lot of opinions. You’ve been a consultant for Sesame Street, the research department for national Headstart Association, Chicago Children’s Music Museum, Nickelodeon, Blue’s Clues. II. I mean, you really are called upon as an expert. And I am wondering, are there some common themes that you see emerging as you do this consulting?
Rae Pica 4:27
Oh, what an interesting question. I’ve done a little bit for each of those organizations and others. Chicago Children’s Museum was so much fun, because I was working with people who well and so assessed mystery, you know, I guess the uniting theme was that I was working with people who believe in play, and then movement for children, and I was helping them out with that. So it’s always good to find kindred spirits and adults who understand and low children. It’s weird. I don’t. I heard somebody say recently that she has heard teachers, early childhood teachers say, Boy, I hate children. Hey, I know my reaction was almost a fall out of my chair. I don’t understand it. You know why you’re working with them if you don’t love them? And you know, it’s one thing I used to say the policy makers don’t understand children, and don’t even seem to like them. But it you know, it’s a whole other thing, if the professionals working with them feel that way. So,
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 5:31
yes, absolutely. We have students visit our school prospective students, and spend the day before we admit them. Because we’re a multi age micro school, kids are so darn intuitive. Kids in their guts, they know schools a good fit, they know if a teacher cares. So the harm that’s being done by an authority figure, who doesn’t care who hates kids, those students are picking up so many messages that it’s criminal, it’s like, Hey, come on, it’s not you’re not in education for the money goes somewhere else, if you really don’t like it, and
Rae Pica 6:08
they’re not in it for the money. And then you know, there are the the many, many, many early childhood professionals who do love children, but who are being required to, you know, put worksheets in front of them, and even standardized tests and at the early ages, and, and to do things that make the children feel like they’re hated, you know, that they’re not respected. And it’s so important to respect them. Yeah.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 6:35
And when you talked about kindred spirits that believe in movement and play, it reminds me in a recent virtual open house, I have students and parents that are at our school, sharing with prospective families. And a student who came to us in eighth grade said, Oh, my gosh, it was so nice to be able to move to be able to doodle. Previously, I’d felt strapped to a chair, and so restrained, it was uncomfortable. And I could just get up if I wanted to walk or something. Or I could doodle as long as I was paying attention. It’s just felt like I got to be me and honor my body. And I think about Yes, I know I do a happy dance to me as I like to move on long remote calls up. I’m listening. I like to work in jigsaw puzzle. I can’t just sit and tune in. And I know a lot of adults can’t so why in the world do we expect our little ones not to have plenty of movement?
Unknown Speaker 7:31
Exactly. The human body was created to move. And when I hear you know, Mom reached out to me, she was frantic because her son’s early childhood program kept sending home notes. Because a he couldn’t sit still and be he couldn’t properly grasp a pencil. He was three, three, clearly unacceptable, you know, to have such expectations of the children. But you know, what you mentioned the doodling and the standing when you need to. If I’m doing a live keynote, and somebody needs to stand, I don’t say, Hey, sit your button back down. That would be preposterous. So why are we doing to the children, I had a woman come up to me after one speech. And she showed me the beautiful drawing she had made while she was speaking to me listening to me. And she had listened to me because we had a conversation about it. She needed to do that. While she was you know, I didn’t say to her, You have some nerve, you know, drawing while you’re supposed to be listening to me. So why do we say those things that children? I don’t understand that?
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 8:38
Absolutely. Again, they are so intuitive. They know what they need to be able to process attend, or even self regulated with? It’s like, getting super antsy. They know and if we can guide them coach them Yeah, it’s okay to get up and walk in the back of the room not to walk right in front of me while I’m talking to the class. You know, if we can help them understand how to do it effectively, right? Why a two way street?
Rae Pica 9:06
So yeah, exactly. Exactly. We have to honor their their needs. There’s so much research now about fidgeting and and how children need grew to engage their brains. And the fact that they’re getting so little movement in schools and after school and everywhere in their lives these days, for any number of reasons that they are not developing their proprioceptive and vestibular senses, they’re falling out of their chairs, you know, and first grade there, and it’s why they’re fidgeting more, because their bodies need to move and they’re not getting that ability. That’s wow, I think it’s tragic. And I don’t understand. When people hear about children falling out of their chairs, why they’re not jumping up and screaming and saying, hey, you know this, this is wrong. I did a blog post called I’ll do something about messing with human development. We are messing with development.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 10:05
Rae Pica 10:05
Yes, yeah. Ah, so yeah, I get ticked off a lot. I get sad, I cry a lot. I can’t help it.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 10:16
You’ve done so much work in early childhood education? What are some of the myths that jumped out at you that really need to be debunked?
Rae Pica 10:27
Yeah, the the first part of the new book, whatever that’s called spark a revolution in early education, speaking up for ourselves and for children, debunks four myths that I think are particularly harmful to children, and to the teachers, you know, and to the profession of early childhood education. And the first one, the biggest one has become so prevalent in our society, it’s earlier is better. You know, that’s why there’s been a push down. And parents are getting this information from media, from social media from one another. And they are out there demanding academics oriented, you know, preschools instead of play based preschools. Because, you know, they’ve come to believe that earlier is better if they don’t get their children started in academics and athletics as early as possible, that children will fall behind and fail miserably in life, you know, and it’s just not true. If we just look at reading or reading, you know, the children who read early, you can’t tell by the time they get to third grade, and certainly by middle school, there’s no way to tell who read early and who read later. So why are we pushing them to read, you know, all we’re doing is teaching them to hate it, which I don’t think is what our goal should be.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 11:47
I know Scandinavia, I forget which country, they don’t formally teach reading until like seven or eight years old. But kids are exposed to so many different things, that when they dive in, you know, they are so ready, and their kids are doing great. So we kind of get locked into our own thinking, but we’re not looking at what the rest of the world might be doing.
Rae Pica 12:09
Oh, no, that’s one of the things that really drives me crazy that we’re so arrogant that we can’t look beyond our own borders for answers. You know, it has such an incredible education system. And, you know, so one of the other myths is that sitting equals learning. And in Finland since the 1960s, she has made they’ve taken the research that children need breaks. And after every 45 minutes of instruction, they get a 15 minute recess, you know, here, according to the American Association, promoting the child’s right to play, which is it sad that we need such an association 40% of the elementary schools in the US have eliminated recess, and some have been built without playgrounds. So, you know, it’s it’s kind of nuts. Oh, yeah. Yeah. I mean, the that is tied to the myths about the mind body connection, you know, we tend to see them as two separate things, that one has nothing to do with the other. When the Texas State School Board was trying to determine this was several years ago, whether or not to have daily physical education, one board member said, Well, if they have daily PE, the kids will be healthy, but dumb. You know, and we have so much research showing how much you know, the role that physical education plays physical activity plays in the the cognitive, intellectual development, all of that in the brand’s optimal functioning. I’m starting to get myself worked up, sorry.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 13:46
Oh, my gosh, yep. These myths are huge. And I think too, we are in such a hurry on that hamster wheel. I’m not sure we’re going anywhere, that we’re sure in a hurry, that we’re not even challenging these assumptions, you know, so we hear horrible things like sitting is the new smoking, it’s killing us. And then I got to hurry up and sit back down and get back to my work you so it’s it’s just this rat race and what scares me in looking at with older children, but it’s it’s trickling down to our younger children, is the rising price we are paying in terms of mental health anxiety, depression, attempted suicide. Yes, a crisis and we’re like, Oh, dear, now sit down and do your manual work. It’s like, oh, my gosh, really?
Rae Pica 14:40
I know. Dr. Peter Gray links the rise in depression and anxiety among young children to the decline in play in their lives. And I don’t I don’t think he’s right. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. You know, they were born to play. It’s a biological drive. I always use the end That’s, that’s a third miss that play time is not productive time when it is actually the most productive time. You know, I use the example of there’s a wonderful YouTube video baby goats having a pajama party frolicking, and leaping and jumping and just having a grand old time. And I think, you know, would we try to keep baby goats or kittens or puppies from playing and frolicking? Now, why are we doing that to the human animals? You know? Because they also were born to play. So yeah, when we look at myths, debunking myths, the research says that we have to replace the myths with fact. And so that’s what I tried to do in the first section of the book, is to say, no, here’s the truth.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 15:52
I think that’s important then. And when we feel defensive, I think that’s what counters it’s like, oh, who says, and I been doing it this way. And I feel really like under attack, if there’s just comb data, hey, in schools that do this, we see, I have a friend who when she taught middle school math took time for social emotional connections and use trauma formed education. So she had less math time than any other teacher, and got the best results. And she got better results than she had in previous years too. And who says more time, cramming in content, when we don’t attend to the whole person means better learning. So we need to have the data and have the space to not instantly become defensive, because we all want the same thing. We want our kids to thrive and to grow up and be productive and happy and contributing.
Rae Pica 16:52
Well, some people want the grades and the test results. The policymakers who don’t know a damn thing about education, you know, are demanding this accountability that is not indicative of anything, you know, certainly not intelligence, certainly not learning. And they’re the ones who are really ignoring, we have so much wonderful research, and they pay no attention to it. So, you know, I do think we need to speak up. And the second part of the book is about speaking up with administrators and policymakers whenever possible, in the most respectful way possible. But I also talked about speaking up with parents, because I think that bottom up approach can be more effective if they have had such an impact on preschools, you know, demanding academics oriented once the coordinate where play based preschools have practically you know, gone the way of the dodo bird, then then, you know, then they can have the opposite effect, too. We just help them because they do want the best for the children, we just have to help them understand what is the best guess.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 18:02
So if you were in front of a policymaker a parent, do you have a couple of steps that you can recommend so that others can become fierce advocates for childhood for play?
Rae Pica 18:17
Yeah, well, advocate is a scary word, isn’t it? You know, sometimes I use the word champion instead. Is, and I make a point of, of helping people understand that it doesn’t have to be scary, and it doesn’t have to be testifying in front of Congress. You know, even speaking, in front of a school board, there were simple steps that we can take that I liken to the drip, drip drip in the in the sink, you know, that eventually flows over floods the whole house, it all makes a difference if we’re all doing little things, like using our words, you know, which is something we tell the children use your words, we have to refer to ourselves as early childhood professionals, as educators as teachers, because we have to counter that notion that early childhood professionals are babysitters. You know, I think that we have to use, you know, it might seem like a silly thing, but I think we have to use the word term care, as opposed to daycare because nobody’s taking care of days. You know, so we have to tell our stories. We have to speak proudly and with passion when someone says what do you do for a living? We don’t say Oh, I’m just a preschool teacher, you know, you’re not just anything. Mm hmm. You know, I, I tell early childhood stories in the back of an Uber or if I find out that person or as a parent, I’m on hold was tech support, and I hear a little girl in the background and we start talking about her free school experience and I’m I try I need to be preaching. You know, I’m just sharing stories, because it’s so much more impactful than data. But if you can have both, you need to have both, you know, you need to not go it alone. I tell a story in sparkle revolution, about one woman who reached out to me she was a teacher in the same school where her daughter was in kindergarten. And the kindergarten recess had been, you know, down to it was either five or 10 minutes. I mean, by the time they get out there, it was probably a minute and a half, you know, and she was trying to fight that. And she did go in alone and put her job at risk. She really needed to, to get the support of the other parents and teachers who were seeing the effect of this shortened recess period. She also didn’t keep with them in mind, W I fm, which is yeah, it for me. She collected her research, which is something I absolutely tell, you know, people they should do. But she didn’t focus on what they were interested in. So she collected research on the importance of play. They were interested in the administration in better test scores, improved grades, and there is research showing that recess does contribute to those things. So if she had focused her research, more specifically on what was in it for them, she would have had more more luck. So you know, there are little tricks.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 21:39
No, no, those are great. And I liked it. Those are simple. They’re not necessarily easy. But we can build alliances, others that have the same we can look at how do I make sure I’m talking the language of the people, you know, that make the decisions? So these are some great ideas, Rae.
Rae Pica 22:00
Oh, good. Thank you.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 22:01
I want to pivot now and just spend a second on this person behind the new spark a revolution in early education book and ask you a couple of questions.
Rae Pica 22:13
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 22:15
So what’s the last book you read?
Rae Pica 22:17
Well, I read a novel every week. I love it. I curl up with a novel on weekends. I have so many wonderful professional books sitting all over the house. But when it comes to the weekend, no, just take me away. I just read a really good mystery. I finished it last night or thriller or suspense, whatever they call it, catch her when she falls. That was really good. But professionally, I just finally got around to reading Lisa Murphy on Play. And I texted her. She’s up buddy. And I said, I think we’re twins separated at birth. So it’s just saying so many the same things. So those are a kindred spirit. So yeah.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 23:02
Nice. How about two inspirational folks you’d love to meet.
Unknown Speaker 23:06
I would love to meet professionally, Carla Hannaford. Now when I was doing a podcast, I interviewed her two or three times and she is absolutely lovely. But I’d love to meet her in person because she wrote my favorite professional book, which is smart moves while learning is not all in your head. And I think you get why that’s my final grade. Carla did not read till she was 10 Marine. PhD after her name. She did okay. You know, she did me on a personal level. I met her once only person I’ve ever stood in line to get an autograph from and I didn’t want the autograph. I just wanted to thank her is Jane Goodall. I will start crying. Wait a second because I love animals so much. Oh. Anybody who has devoted her life to animals? Has my heart.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 23:58
Absolutely. How about a TED Talk that inspires you?
Rae Pica 24:03
I always remember while I love anything that that Sir Ken Robinson did, but I always remember comparisons. And the fact that we lost her so soon, just as heartbreaking because she had so much to offer. It was something like every child needs a champion.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 24:22
I see. Yes. powerful and profound concept in her presentation was just oh, she was so badass.
Rae Pica 24:31
It was so yeah, I got goosebumps all over. Me.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 24:35
Yes. What’s the biggest thing you wish folks knew about experiential learning?
Rae Pica 24:41
That it’s necessary.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 24:44
Yeah. When kids like when will they ever use this with some random fact it’s like
Rae Pica 24:51
well, that’s you know, that’s the fourth myth is that digital devices are necessary for learning because it’s so easy to be become enamored of the blink Getting like millions of bits of information. But if we’re, you know, certainly if we’re talking about young children, they need experiential learning. They need three dimensional experiences. And don’t show me a photo of kindergarteners sitting at computers studying habitats. I wanted to screen when I say go outside or create them indoors. You know, whatever. The yes camp learn about habitats. Two dimensionally you can’t build a block tower two dimensionally. You know, it’s just not the same thing. Children a multi sensory. Yes. I’m getting myself locked up again. I’m pressurizing.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 25:47
So maybe I shouldn’t, but I’m still going to ask you this. What’s a pet peeve of yours?
Rae Pica 25:55
Did I list just one? I don’t know. I have so many.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 26:02
One, it’s on your mind right now.
Rae Pica 26:04
Okay. Well, that people don’t understand experiential learning. Active learning that I guess, you know, the biggest one is that they don’t respect children as children, you know? Yeah. You want to hear a story about what was it? Three year olds being taught a word a week, where it’s like hypothesis, which, you know, not exactly relevant in their lives. And when she was asked why she said, because we have to get them ready to be four. I’m sorry, can we not just love and respect and value them is three. We don’t have to get them ready to be four
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 26:44
Rae Pica 26:46
So yeah, lots of pet peeves. I could just go on and on and on.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 26:51
How about something about you that most folks don’t know.
Unknown Speaker 26:54
You know, that question stumps me. You know, I, I was thinking about, you know, the fact that my oldest friend and I have been friends for I’ve done the math 56 years, which just seems impossible to me that I could have done anything for 56 years, let alone 69. And I think but there are people who don’t do know that in my personal life, they just don’t know it in my, in my professional life. So I don’t know, I’m pretty transparent. Sometimes too much. So. So people know most things about me, I think.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 27:33
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 27:34
Nope. I think that’s a good thing. And I like to close the podcast with the magic one moment.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 27:40
So if I handed you the magic wand and said, transform, early childhood education, or how we think about it, as a culture, what would you wish for?
Unknown Speaker 27:55
Oh, gosh, queen of the world. Oh, my magic wand, I would turn back the clock in terms of what early education looks like, the blocks, the housekeeping centers, the dramatic play areas, you know, with all the costumes and, and all of that, and the children playing. And I would at the same time, wish that people understood. I’d love for them all to understand child development. That’s the name of another book of mine. But I wish that they understood how significant that period of life is and how important early childhood professionals are. Is that asking too much?
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 28:44
No, no. And in some cultures, early childhood educators earn more than college professors. They some cultures really get how foundational early childhood years aren’t. I know the year I taught kindergarten, it’s like oh my gosh, get me back to fifth and sixth grade. This is so insanely hard. There’s never any downtime. So it is not easy. And it is so important. I think we all need to have that awareness.
Rae Pica 29:12
Yeah. One thing people don’t know about me is that I believe in reincarnation. So I’ve been thinking, what country would I like to come back to in my next life? Ah, very cool. In the plusses and minuses my own way.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 29:29
I’m super excited for your book that’s coming out next week, and we will put a link to that in the show notes. Thank you so much for being a guest on Education Evolution,
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 29:32
Thanks for having me Maureen, this is great fun.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 29:52
Rae has committed her life to making sure our children get the appropriate childhood experiences It was an honor to get to learn from her. I am also concerned that happiness and well being are not something we’re striving for more as a culture. It’s interesting to see our 20 Something population saying that they are not going to play by the same rules, as the rest of our culture is playing by, they are fighting for what we should all be fighting for a work life balance, meaningful life, they are actually leading us and we need to be listening to them. I can’t wait to read Rae’s book, all four myths, she starts out with resonate deeply with me, who says earlier is better, or that sitting equals learning, or the play isn’t productive, or that we need digital devices in order to learn. We’ve seen examples that disprove each of these. And in the shownotes, we’ve linked many resources that Rae has talked about. Of course, the best source to get those resources in context is to order Rae’s new book. Her book is linked in the show notes, as is her website that has a resource library of 20 free guides for early childhood educators. So here’s to us implementing raise magic wand and turning back the clock. Here’s to our preschools and early childhood education programs, letting kids build with blocks, create in dramatic play centers, mix concoctions on water or sand tables, and really have that experiential play based learning. That is what our young children should be doing. As always, thank you for being a part of this education evolution.
Maureen O’Shaughnessy 32:06
I know how challenging it is to make changes inside your own school or community. I’ve spent years working with schools around the world on creating learner centered programs. And it always struck me how much schools were able to get done with the right tools and guidance. If you’re ready to make changes like this in your own school, let’s talk and put together an action plan. Visit educationevolution.org/consult for a free 15 minute call. And let’s see if we’re a good fit for more work together. Thanks again for listening. To support the education evolution. Subscribe so it lands in your podcast app and gets out to more decision makers. Then rate and review it. For more information in shownotes go to educationevolution.org. education evolution listeners. You are the ones to ensure we create classrooms where each student is seen, heard, valued and thriving. We are in this together and we need you. Let’s go out and reach every student today. Thank you for listening, signing off. I am Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your partner in boldly reimagining education.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
The guiding principle of Education Evolution has been to light passion among educational leaders and to spark them into action. Over the last few years, I believe we’ve done just that. And while the work isn’t over yet, the time has come to put a pause on the podcast....
Reading is simple, right? Not for everyone, and it’s especially challenging for those who don’t have access to all the tools and resources they need to be successful. This week we hear from Marnie Ginsburg, founder of Reading Simplified, who has dedicated her career...
The further away administrators get from their roots as teachers, the more they forget what it’s like to be in the trenches. The result is often either a real or perceived lack of empathy for teachers. Both teachers and administrators have vital roles in the school,...
School change is so much harder than I thought! When I did my doctoral research on school innovation and created a hands-on learning school-within-a-school in the 90s, I had no idea that I’d spend the next few decades making tiny changes. Changes that often...
Thanksgiving looks different this year. Traditions are being shattered in 2020 and new realities are emerging. Thanksgiving is no exception. After Canada’s Thanksgiving in October, COVID statistics jumped, reminding us that, sadly, the pandemic isn’t taking a break...
A traditional classroom setting is just that...traditional. Teachers must teach specific subjects for a required amount of time, often using prescribed curriculum materials that may be a decade old. There’s little consideration for the individual learner--their...
This episode explores the multifaceted world of literacy and emphasizes the importance of equipping our children with the tools they need to unlock the joy of reading, even before they step into a classroom.
This week on the podcast, we’re welcoming back author and educator Miriam Plotinsky. She’s sharing about her latest book, Lead Like a Teacher, and talking about what school leaders can do to build more trust and a more collaborative school environment.
We can all be active in policy making, starting at our own schools level. Parent and teacher involvement is vital in ensuring that we focus on overall coherence in our schools.