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The Parent Scoop

Education Podcasts

The Parent Scoop Podcast - bringing research and knowledge to parents, from parents. Hosted by Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher, education professor and mom of two.


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The Parent Scoop Podcast - bringing research and knowledge to parents, from parents. Hosted by Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher, education professor and mom of two.



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Equity in Public Schooling

What do we mean by equity in education and how might we go about achieving it? Our parent guest today is Erica Turner, PhD, a mom of three who is an associate professor in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. In this week's episode, we explore the Equity in Public Schooling Guide that Erica and collegues developed at the onset of the pandemic to understand issues standing in the way of achieving equitable public schooling for all. *Episode Notes* Follow Erica on twitter: @EricaOTurner1


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Moving to Disrupt Texts

This week’s parent guest is Tricia Ebarvia, a high school English teacher and a mom of three boys who is one of the four co-founders of the #DisruptTexts movement - a “crowdsourced, grass roots effort by teachers for teachers to diversify literature taught in schools in order to create a more inclusive, representative, and equitable language arts curriculum” (Disrupt Texts website). In this episode, we explore what the Disrupt Text collective is really about, clearing up misunderstandings and misinformation about the movement to highlight why this work is so necessary. We also provide parents with tangible steps on how to support their children and teachers in this work. ***Episode Notes*** Understanding the Disrupt Texts movementsThe four Disrupt Text principlesParents roles in supporting their children in disrupting textsWhy some parents push back against disrupting textsParents roles in supporting teachers/schools to disrupt textsWhy speaking up matters Follow Tricia and the Disrupt Text collective on twitter at: @disrupttexts #DisruptTexts


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The Changing Brain: On Motivation, Persistence, and Joy

What drives motivation and what role does motivation play in children's development and growth? How does adversity and stress impact the brain? And what role does joy play? Our parent guest today is Allyson Mackey PhD, a mom of two and a neuroscientist who is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania where she heads the Changing Brian Lab. In this week's episode, we explore the changing brain, focusing on the the importance of motivation, modeling effort, experiencing joy, and getting enough sleep. *Episode Notes* Follow Allyson's Changing Brain Lab on twitter: @ChangingBrain


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Hidden Histories of Native People

There are over 6.7 million Native Americans still living in the United States today and yet, the people that have lived on these lands the longest are the people we know the least about. In this week’s episode, we explore the contemporary history of native communities through children’s literature. Our parent guest this week is Traci Sorell, a mom of one and an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation who writes poetry, fiction and nonfiction for children. In this episode, Traci talks about her books as a way for people to learn more about native people in the past and present. ***Episode Notes*** Gaps in the history curriculum post 1870Representation, research, and own voicesImportance of land acknowledgementsRespect versus appropriation Cherokee values and hidden figuresOn Balance: Gratitude for the blessings and the struggles Follow Traci on twitter and instagram @TraciSorell Photo credit: Kelly Downs Photography


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Parenting for Social Change

We begin Season 3 by exploring the ways in which families can participate in the pursuit for racial and social justice. Our parent guest this week is Deepa Iyer - a lawyer, writer, trainer, and racial justice advocate. She is currently the Strategic Advisor at Building Movement Project and Director of Solidarity Is, a project that provides trainings and resources in an effort to develop deep and lasting multiracial solidarity. She's also the mom of a 10 year old boy. In this episode, Deepa walks us through the Social Change Ecosystem Map that she developed for the Building Movement Project. The map introduces families to the many different roles and ways to engage in social and racial justice work. Follow Deepa on twitter (@dviyer) and instagram (@deepaviyer). *Episode Notes:* Photo credit: Les Talusan


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Kids in the Kitchen

With so many of us confined indoors, home cooking is on the rise. How do we make the most of this opportunity where there are more cooks in the kitchen - even little ones? How much cooking can kids do? What are the benefits of getting kids involved with meal prep? And where do you start if you yourself are not adept in the kitchen? We’ve cooked up a terrific episode with our parent guest this week, Claudine Boulstridge, who joins us from her home in rural Wales (UK). Claudine is the home recipe tester for world renowned chef, Yotam Ottolenghi. She’s also a mom of three and passionate about sharing her knowledge about healthy eating through her instagram account, @HealthyFamilyFoodIdeas. In this episode - right in time for the winter holidays - we talk about how to support kids in the kitchen, healthy eating, and how food can be a gateway to so much learning. ***Episode Notes*** Managing kids in the kitchenUnderstanding kids’ cooking capabilities Healthy eatingKids menus & school lunchesCooking as a gateway to learningWhere to start Follow Claudine on Instagram @HealthyFamilyFoodIdeas


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On Death and Grief

Death is an inevitable part of all life, and yet talking about death is one of the hardest conversations that adults can have with children. To navigate this complicated topic, we are joined by Miranda Featherstone, MSW, a writer and school based counselor, and a mother of two young children. We discuss the importance of normalizing death, how to talk to children about death using developmentally appropriate language, and understanding grief. ***Episode Notes*** Links to some of Miranda's writing: Ghosts In My Nursery (The Yale Interview) Resist Fear Based Parenting (The New York Times)


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Social Justice Through Empathy

Growing up in the United States as a minoritized person in terms of skin color and religious identity has never been easy, so how does one raise their children to feel connected to their country and their faith? Our parent guest this week is Simran Jeet Singh, PhD, a Sr. Fellow at the Sikh Coalition, and a social justice activist, scholar and teacher, who is the dad of two girls. He’s also the author of "Fauja Singh Keeps Going" – a picture book we discuss on the show. In our episode, Simran shares ways in which he lives his values and uses empathy to fight against racism and hate. Follow Simran on twitter and instagram @SikhProf. *Episode Notes*


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Risky Play

In this episode, we explore how children learn from play, risk-taking and failure. We’re joined by parents, Jennifer Oxman Ryan, PhD (senior project manager and researcher on Project Zero’s Pedagogy of Play initiative at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education), and Jake Ryan (Founder and Director of the Open Bench Project, a maker space in Portland, Maine.). We explore the world of maker spaces, which allow for risk-taking and failure as important ways to learn and grow, and how parents can take a more playful disposition to parenting. ***Episode Notes*** Play and maker-centered learningCultivating agency, curiosity, wonder and empathyLetting kids take the leadRisk taking and failureBeing good at being badPlayful parentingEngaging with differenceReflections on sending your kid off to college (in a pandemic)


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Navigating the News

The way we consume and talk about news and current events has completely changed in recent years. In this week’s episode, we discuss all things related to the news and how to talk with our children about what is happening in the world around us. Our parent guest this week is Amna Nawaz, an Emmy and Peabody award winning journalist. She is a Senior National Correspondent and the primary substitute anchor for PBS NewsHour, as well as a mom of two. In our episode, we discuss ways to introduce children to the news, how to maintain a healthy news diet, and about representation in the media. Follow Amna on twitter @IamAmnaNawaz and on instagram @AmnaOnPBS ***Episode Notes*** The changing news landscapeExperiencing news as a family (how to talk about complicated news stories)On finding trustworthy news sourcesOpenness to other points of viewMaintaining a healthy/balanced news dietOn representationWork/life realities


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Reframing Learning

We begin our second season by exploring the many facets of learning. Our parent guest this week is Annie Snyder, PhD, Senior Learning Scientist at McGraw-Hill and a single mom of three boys. In our conversation, we talk about everything from reframing the “loss’ of learning to how the pandemic offers us an opportunity to reconsider and racalibrate what we call learning. ***Episode Notes***


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Science is For Everyone

In this week's episode, we explore the world of science from an anti-racist perspective. Our parent guest this week is Theanne Griffith, PhD, a mom of two and a neuroscientist at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of the new STEM focused chapter book series, The Magnificent Makers (illustrated by Reggie Brown). We explore her books, discuss the importance of scientific thinking, and why science is for everyone. Follow Theanne on twitter / instagram @DocTheaGrif ***Episode Notes***


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Conversations About Race: Bonus Content

Bonus content from Episode 6 Conversations About Race with Charles Barrett Adams, Managing Partner at The Lion's Story. In this mini episode, Charles talks about the role parents can play in advocating for sustainable change in schools, by reflecting on his role as an active parent in his children's schools.


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Conversations About Race

In this week's episode, we learn about what racial literacy is and why we need it more than ever. Our parent guest this week is Charles Barrett Adams, dad of two and one of the founding members and managing partner of The Lion’s Story, an organization that seeks to prepare individuals and organizations to navigate and resolve racially charged situations using research-based strategies. We talk about managing stress during conversations related to race, and how to engage with our children about racially charged situations - from processing the news to everyday experiences with microaggressions. *Episode notes:* See also our bonus content where we talk specifically about schools and the role parents can play in advocating for change.


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Restorying Social Studies

In this week's episode we enter the world of social studies to explore the possibilities of restorying our past, understanding the present, and restoring our future. Our parent guest this week is Noreen Naseem Rodriguez, PhD, a professor of elementary social studies at Iowa State University, and a mom of two. We discuss what social studies is; pushing back against dominant narratives and explore hidden histories; and how to watch the new PBS Asian American documentary with our kids. Follow Noreen on twitter at: @naseemrdz ***Episode notes***


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A Principal's Perspective

In this week's episode, we reflect on the ways the past few months of the pandemic have reshaped schooling. Our parent guest is Victoria Hunt, PhD, an educator with over twenty years of teaching and administrative experience and a mom of two young adults. She is the founding principal of Dos Puentes Elementary School, a dual-language K-5 public school in New York City. We talk about the challenges and opportunities that have emerged from the sudden and unprecedented shift to online schooling, and the ways in which we might reimagine schooling moving forward. Episode Notes: Teaching your own kids is hardWhat parents might not know or realize / a behind the scenes perspective Loss of learning in perspective (Pandemic) Special education Interlude The future: A focus on social-emotional well-being? Ideas to take to the future and reimagining schooling


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The Balancing Act: Bonus Content

Bonus content from last week's interview with early childhood researcher, Jennifer Keys Adair, PhD, in which she reflects on being a parent of teenagers and what she's learned from them.


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The Balancing Act: Learning, Work, and Play

In this week's episode we look at how young children learn and what they need from their parents during the pandemic. Our parent guest this week is Jennifer Keys Adair, PhD, an early childhood education professor at the University of Texas at Austin and mom of three. We talk about ways to balance our children's needs with our own needs; using technology; the importance of play and boredom; and the benefits of developing agency in young children. *Episode notes:* What kids need from parents (during the pandemic and beyond): The 15/45 ruleStrategies to get work done while caring for your kidsHow to give children attentionLeveraging/understanding technology Opting out and balancing online learningThe importance of play - and boredom (Interlude) Understanding children’s agencyAgency in children of colorCultivating agency at homeThe importance of not overprotecting kids


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Books, Storytelling, and Social Justice

This week’s episode enters the world of books and storytelling to explore ways of talking about social identities and difference with our children. Our parent guest on this episode is Mathangi Subramanian, Ed.D., award-winning author, activist, and adoptive parent. We talk about books and storytelling as a way to both broaden our children's worlds and imaginations, and also serve as a gateway to social justice issues. *Episode notes* Books as mirrors and windows / Diversifying children’s literatureResponding to questionable/stereotypical content in books The benefits of reading aloud to (older) children (gateway to social justice conversations)Reading fiction and nonfiction Fostering creativity [interlude] Recognizing that kids know more that we thinkModeling social justice


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Is This Homeschooling?

Our first episode focuses on the challenges facing parents and folks in parenting roles with having their kids at home rather than in school. Our parent guest on this episode is Chris Steinmeier, Ed.D., co-founder and co-director of the Natural Creativity Center and dad of two. We talk about school at home vs self-directed learning; finding work-life balance; and using this time as an opportunity to connect with the young people in your lives in a whole new way. Episode Notes: Clarifying terminology (homeschooling, school-at-home, radical unschooling)A response to “fear of falling behind in learning” Principles of self-directed learning/education Interlude Rediscovering curiosity (recovering internal-motivation)Avoiding evaluative languageSharing in responsibilityBeing with your family