Have you heard of Podcast Brunch Club? It's like book club, but for podcasts. Groups around the world (in twelve cities and counting) meet once a month to discuss a set of podcasts curated around a common theme, like vegetarianism, gratitude, or fear. This month, just in time for the start of the school year, the theme for discussion is higher education. Adela (Podcast Brunch Club's creator) says, "Most people would agree on the importance of education. How to deliver that education is a bigger point of contention." Below, Adela shares five great episodes to check out — including the club's three official selections, listed first — and I add a few favorites as well.
Adela's Education Picks
My Little Hundred Million from Revisionist History [July 20, 2016, 42 minutes]. Author Malcolm Gladwell explores educational philanthropy and tries to tease out why billionaires repeatedly donate to the schools that need the money the least.
Too Many Kids Go To College (Bonus podcast) from Intelligence Squared US [May 29, 2015, 49 minutes]. Oxford-style live debate about whether too many kids go to college. One question + two answers = debate.
Do Schools Kill Creativity? from The Official TED Talk Guide [June 27, 2006, 19 minutes]. This oldie, but goody TED Talk features Sir Ken Robinson who makes a very good case for why our education system should value creativity in children.
Homeschooling: Not Just for Hippies and Religious People Anymore from Stuff You Should Know [December 11, 2014, 53 minutes]. In 1970 homeschooling was illegal. Today some states offer funding to parents who homeschool their children. Listen to this episode of Stuff You Should Know to learn how homeschooling works.
Jessie's Education Picks
The Problem We All Live With from This American Life [July 31, 2015, 59 minutes]. Nikole Hannah-Jones of New York Times Magazine has been reporting on efforts to close the achievement gap for years, but reforms never seem to work as planned — except for one: school integration.
The School from Embedded [June 11, 2016, 41 minutes]. Public schools around the country are closing at alarming rates, due in part to the No Child Left Behind Act. Shereen Marisol Meraji and Chris Benderev travel to Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania to talk with the parents and students affected by one closure.
My Education, Uninterrupted from Radio Rookies [November 14, 2015, 8 minutes]. Supported by his mom and his teachers, one high school student on the brink of dropping out makes the life-changing decision to stay in school. At the time, the graduation rate for black males in New York City — where he was living — was only 28 percent.
Our School from Rumble Strip Vermont [November 19, 2015, 23 minutes]. Last year, Vermonters passed legislation that promised to lower their taxes by consolidating school districts. Host Erica Heilman talks with a school board member, a superintendent, and an educator about the new law's impact on small communities.
The Great Textbook War from Us & Them [May 1, 2015, 58 minutes]. A Peabody Award-winning piece on the culture war that took place in a conservative West Virginian school district back in the early 1970s. School board members couldn't agree on textbook content for children in public schools, and things grew ugly quickly.
Did we miss any great education episodes? If so, let us know down in the comments or via email! And be sure to check out Podcast Brunch Club to join your city's club (or to start your own with the help of Adela!).