Dr. Paula McAvoy is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at North Carolina State University. She was previously the Director of the Center for Ethics and Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has published multiple peer-reviewed articles and co-authored a book, The Political Classroom: Evidence and Ethics in Democratic Education, with Dr. Diana Hess. More information on that book can be found here. She also taught high school social studies in Los Altos California for 10 years. Her research focuses on philosophical and empirical questions concerning the relationship between schools and democratic society. During our conversation, we discuss the theory that informs her view that schools should be political institutions, and that classrooms should be the site of rich deliberative discussions about controversial political issues. This research is topical considering the elevated levels of political polarization in American society. This conversation and the synthesis of her 2013 article in the January 2021 edition of the Spanning Boundaries Teacher Newsletter should provide educators with a set of strategies to begin having political conversations in their classrooms.
Dr. Jayson Richardson is a professor and the Department Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver.
He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Educational Administration. He has written or co-authored articles in the following journals: Comparative Education Review, Educational Administration Quarterly, International Journal of Education and Development using ICT, Information Technology for International Development, Journal of International Development, Journal of School Leadership, Review of Policy Research, and The Teacher Educator.
Nabil Zerizef is Principal of Rowe Middle School in Milwaukie, Oregon. Previously, he was the principal at Farmington View Elementary School in Hillsboro, OR. He was also a Multimedia Professional Development TOSA, where he supported facilitated tech-focused PD for teachers and principals. As a principal, Nabil is dedicated to providing successful learning environments for all students. During our conversation, we discuss what it’s like to start a new job as principal of a school during a time of Covid; how he’s thinking about being a leader during a time of crisis; how Covid might be used to transform historical schooling structures that do not benefit all students; and what it means to be a good school leader. Nabil also co-authored A Kids Book About Adoption with a former student of his.
Marc Tucker is the former President and CEO of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE). Marc's goal at NCEE "was to learn as much as possible from the countries that have been outperforming the United States, translate that into a policy agenda, and then work with the states to implement that agenda by helping them develop the policies and the institutional capacity they need to do the job." His 2019 book, Leading High Performance School Systems, is both an exposition of top-performing school systems throughout the world and a potential blueprint to transform the American School System. This book serves as the focus of our conversation.
Dr. Edward Deci is Professor of Psychology and the Gowen Professor in the Social Sciences at the University of Rochester, as well as the director of the Human Motivation program. He is well known in psychology for his theories of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and basic psychological needs. With Richard Ryan, he is the co-founder of self-determination theory (SDT), an influential contemporary motivational theory. Self-determination theory is a macro theory of human motivation that differentiates between autonomous and controlled forms of motivation; the theory has been applied to predict behavior and inform behavior change in many contexts including: education, health care, work organizations, parenting, and sport (as well as many others).
A former public school educator of 22 years, Will has spent the last 15 years developing an international reputation as a leading thinker and writer about the intersection of social online learning networks, education, and systemic change. Most recently, Will is a co-founder of The Big Questions Institute which was created to help educators use "fearless inquiry" to make sense of this complex moment and an uncertain future.
In 2017, Will was named one of 100 global "Changemakers in Education" by the Finnish site HundrED, and was named one of the Top 5 "Edupreneurs to Follow" by Forbes. He has given keynote speeches, lead breakout sessions, and provided coaching services in over 30 countries on 6 continents. (Come on Antartica!) He has also authored six books, and given TEDx Talks in New York, Melbourne, and Vancouver.
Dr. Stovall is Professor of African-American Studies and Criminology, Law & Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). His scholarship investigates three areas 1) Critical Race Theory, 2) the relationship between housing and education, and 3) the intersection of race, place and school. In the attempt to bring theory to action, he works with community organizations and schools to address issues of equity, justice and abolishing the school/prison nexus. During our conversation, Dave and I discuss critical race theory, the intersection of housing and education, and charter schools.
Ora D. Tanner is the Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer at The AI Education Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit centering equity and accessibility in AI education. The AI Education Project educates students, especially those disproportionately impacted by AI and automation, with the conceptual knowledge and skills they need to thrive as future workers, creators, consumers, citizens, and leaders of emerging technologies.
Ora holds both a B.S. and M.S. in physics and is completing doctoral studies in instructional technology and educational measurement. She has completed fellowships with the Aspen Tech Policy Hub, the Alliance of Democracies and the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, and is currently a Visiting Senior Fellow with The German Marshall Fund based in Washington D.C.
This episode highlights the work of Dr. Amanda Datnow, Professor in the Department of Education Studies and Associate Dean of the Division of Social Sciences at the University of California, San Diego. Amanda’s research focuses on educational reform and policy, particularly with regard to issues of equity and the professional lives of educators. I was drawn to Amanda’s work as I searched through research on data use and equity in the K12 space, and this serves as the foundation for our conversation. Amanda has done extensive research on how to use data to address issues of inequity in elementary and secondary classrooms. She has published numerous books, her most recent being Professional Collaboration with Purpose: Teacher Learning for Equity and Excellence (2019), which she co-authored with Vicki Park.