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MindShift Podcast

It’s easy to see a child’s education as a path determined by grades, test scores and extra curricular activities. But genuine learning is about so much more than the points schools tally. MindShift explores the future of learning and how we raise our kids. This podcast is part of the MindShift education site, a division of KQED News. You can also visit the MindShift website for episodes and supplemental blog posts or tweet us @MindShiftKQED or visit us at MindShift.KQED.org.

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Courage To Change: What It Takes to Shift to Restorative Discipline

The KIPP charter school network has made a name for itself preparing kids from low-income communities for college. Its early years were marked by strict and controversial discipline policies meant to hold students to a rigorous standard of behavior. But KIPP Bay Area Schools are leading the network away from this model in favor of restorative discipline practices that build a school culture of understanding, trust and respect.


24 Oct 2017

Rank #1

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Teaching 6-Year-Olds About Privilege and Power

Privilege and power play out in the world all around us everyday. And kids notice. First grade teacher Bret Turner has decided not to avoid the difficult conversations and questions his students bring to class. Instead, he's weaving issues of privilege and power into everything he does.


17 Sep 2019

Rank #2

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How Can Schools Help Kids With Anxiety?

Anxiety is running rampant in high schools around the country, both rich and poor. The driving factors may be different, but it’s the same lonely, debilitating feeling. It makes it hard for students to learn and to deal with life. Katrina Schwartz takes us inside the experience of anxiety from two teens’ perspectives and shares strategies educators and parents can use to help them cope.


20 Aug 2019

Rank #3

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Childhood As ‘Resume Building’: Why Play Needs A Comeback

The kind of free play grown-ups had in previous generations is looked at with nostalgia in today’s era of adult-supervised activities. Children are missing out on the benefits of unstructured play, but a group of dedicated educators are trying to give kids back their play time. For one day in February, class time is dedicated to play time via the Global School Play Day movement. In 2019, more than 530,000 students participated around the world.


3 Sep 2019

Rank #4

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Where Did All These Teen Activists Come From?

Teenagers are demanding to be heard on the issues that matter most to them including climate change, gun control, abortion and immigration. What's different now and what role does public education play?


29 Oct 2019

Rank #5

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How Listening to Podcasts Helps Students Read and Learn

High School English teacher Michael Godsey found the Serial podcast so compelling, he stopped teaching his favorite work of Shakespeare to teach the wildly popular podcast instead. What does audio have to do with learning traditional English skills? Godsey’s students helped him discover a new side of literacy.


11 Oct 2017

Rank #6

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How Teachers Designed a School Centered On Caring Relationships

Ask almost any teacher why they teach and they'll give you similar answers: they love the kids. But what does that love look like when it's a community value, shared by every adult in the building, no matter how difficult it feels? At Social Justice Humanitas Academy in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, love is baked into everything from academic probation to math class. And it's making a difference for the mostly Latino, mostly low-income student population. We explore how Social Justice Humanitas has found success where so many others struggle.


6 Nov 2018

Rank #7

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How Students Would Improve Their School Lunch Experience

Adults have designed how kids eat at school for generations, directing students into single-file lines and seating them at long roll-away tables to eat mass-produced food. This is all about efficiency in order to feed hundreds of young people in a matter of minutes. However, baked into the process of feeding kids efficiently are bad food choices, waste, social anxiety and social isolation. Lunch hasn't been working for all students so schools are asking students to design a better lunch experience with the help of design thinking strategies.


1 Oct 2019

Rank #8

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Overcoming Childhood Trauma: How Parents and Schools Work to Stop the Cycle

Many people have experienced some kind of trauma in their childhood, such as loss of a caregiver, substance abuse in the home, homelessness or abuse. There are ten types of trauma classified as “Adverse Childhood Experiences” that came to light in a study conducted in the 1990s, which found higher rates of illness in adults associated with the amount of trauma people experienced as children. In this episode, you’ll hear how a school in Butte County, California takes a trauma-informed approach to educating students. You’ll also hear how a mother who’s experienced eight childhood traumas works with a therapist to find healing as she raises her own daughter.


25 Sep 2018

Rank #9

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Dropping Out and Coming Back: Stories of Persevering for a Diploma

Close to 24-percent of Oakland ninth graders drop out before their senior year of high school. Some of those young people ultimately decide that they need to go back to school in order to get ahead in life. We explore what it takes to support over-aged students to a high school diploma -- and college or a career -- when they’re facing homelessness, juggling family responsibilities, or are navigating criminal records. We hear the stories of three young people: why they dropped out and what brought them back.


20 Nov 2018

Rank #10

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Why Ninth Grade Can Be a Big Shock For High School Students

High school is an important time in the life of any teen: hormones are raging, social cliques are forming and the pressure is on to develop a college resume. Teens gain more independence as they get older, but adults also expect more from teens without providing as much of the nurturing and guidance of their earlier years. Starting high school is a big transition, and it turns out, the ninth grade a pivotal moment for teens’ potential success or failure in high school. At Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, California, educators are combating “ninth grade shock” by developing the kind of community kids don’t want to miss.


12 Sep 2018

Rank #11

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How Art Can Help Center a Student’s Learning Experience

Art has often been relegated as an additional activity in schools. But schools that put art at the center of a child's learning experience through arts integration are seeing kids thrive.


15 Oct 2019

Rank #12

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The Role of Community in Creating and Healing Trauma in Kids

When kids live in violence-prone neighborhoods, the environment can enable trauma in their lives. One youth center in Richmond, California, is seeking to change the community’s culture by providing something to young people that’s sometimes missing in their schools and home lives: love and support. The RYSE Center is teaching a generation of young people -- and adults -- what it means to have a path for improvement for themselves and their community.


23 Oct 2018

Rank #13

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Can Inviting Teachers Over to Your Home Improve How Kids Learn?

Teachers can go an entire school year and only see a child’s parent once: on back to school night. And most parents are conditioned to think the worst when they get a phone call from the school. But what if teachers and parents could build trust with each other earlier? Teachers at schools in at least 20 states are visiting families in their homes to break the ice and occasionally, some bread.


28 Aug 2018

Rank #14

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Be The Change You Want To See

Catlin Tucker and Marika Neto hoped that by redesigning the classroom experience they could shift what students value about learning. Instead of being focused on grades and points, they're pushing students to see the value in self-reflection, self-assessment, and creative thinking. At Windsor High School, Tucker and Neto created a program in which they share sixty students, a mix of freshman and sophomores, every other day. The interdisciplinary program blends science, English and technology learning standards into projects, and students are given more choice and independence over how and what they learn.


26 Sep 2017

Rank #15