S4E4 – Spare the rod: Corporal punishment in US public schools
The USA stands virtually alone among democracies in permitting schools to employ physical violence in disciplining students. This episode explores the history, permutations and present state of affairs of corporal punishment in US schools.
Whether US public schools should teach sex education, and just what exactly we even mean by that phrase, has been a point of contention since at least the 19th century. This episode recounts some of the major trends, currents and conflicts in the history, and present state, of school sex-ed.
Note: I only marked this episode as “explicit” to avoid any trouble with Apple Podcasts’ flagging algorithm, which might freak out at the word “sex” in the episode title. There are in fact no words in this episode that would be bleeped on daytime television, and no descriptions (explicit or otherwise) of sexual acts. Whether this comes as a relief or a disappointment is entirely up to you.
S4E2 – Room for contradictions: The Schooling of Chinese Americans
What challenges have Chinese Americans faced, and what victories have they won, in the quest for equal access to an education in the USA? At a time when violence and xenophobia against AAPI people is on the rise, this episode attempts to explore beyond the “model minority myths” and share some history of Chinese and other Asian Americans’ experience in US schools.
A lot of what influences students’ academic and long-term life outcomes have nothing to do with how schools are structured and how teachers teach. In the face of income inequality, structural racism and so many larger forces, does anything we talk about in this podcast really matter? We kick off Season 4 of Ed Infinitum by reviewing the research that could help us address that question.
We close out Season Three with a look back at the student activism of the 1968 East Los Angeles walkouts, and how Chicano students defied abusive policies and police brutality to try and improve their schools.
Two teachers – one from a suburban middle school, one form a tech-voc agricultural school, share their unfiltered stories and opinions about what their job, their school and their students’ experience looks like right now during the pandemic.
Next episode (the season finale!) will post on Friday, Feb 21, 2021
Nine months in, and online, remote and hybrid school is still proving dismal for far too many students and teachers. The end, if it’s even in sight, isn’t coming any time soon, so how can schools do a better job with the situation they’ve got? We ask our guest, Dr. April Willis of the National Virtual Teacher Association, about the solution her organization is trying to provide.
Ever wondered how the history and operations of schooling around the world differs from that of the USA? We take a glimpse at four countries’ schools – specifically, England, France, Japan and Finland – and see what we can learn.
S3E10 – Can’t we all just get along? The Math and History wars
Politics in education are so bitter because so little is at stake? Maybe, maybe not. In this episode we examine the ongoing debates about the “proper” teaching of two subjects, Math and History. What is at stake in these “school wars,” and how does the fallout affect students?