EPISODE 12: What I Need from School

This week, REINVENTING SCHOOL changes its perspective. Our guests are not professional educators. Instead, this is a moderated discussion among students about what school is, and what it could be. Given the uncertainty of the next school year and the potential for new solutions, we're very excited about this episode.

As always, please join us on Thursdays for our live shows, or visit www.reinventing.school for the recorded versions.

Special thanks to our student guests, and to our one adult guest:

7112213697?profile=RESIZE_400xDr. Mary Jo Podgurski’s life work is serving young people and their families. She has a background in nursing, education, and counseling; and she is certified in sexuality education and sexuality counseling through AASECT. Currently, she serves as the President and Founder of the Academy for Adolescent Health, Inc. In her vast career, she is responsible for presenting sexuality education to over 250,000 young people! She also has authored 34 books, including The Nonnie Series, for children on challenging topics, and she has presented over 750 workshops locally, nationally, and internationally. Dr. Podgurski bases her numerous education programs and books on her foundational belief of #EachPersonIsAPersonofWorth. Her ability to respect all people, listen to young people, and develop inspiring and empowering curricula create a safe environment for learning. She considers herself an Ambassador for Respect and models respect daily, in her professional and personal lives.

Dr. Podguriski founded The Washington Health System Teen Outreach in 1988 and a peer education program in 1995. Through the Teen Outreach Program, Dr. Podgurski mentors young parents and trains peer educators. She has trained over 15,000 peer educators and over 10,000 young parents.

In honor of her noteworthy accomplishments, Dr. Podgurski was awarded the Athena Women of Wisdom Award (2004), the NAACP Human Rights Award (2008), The ARC Community Award (2014), the Healthy Teen Network Excellence in Sexuality Education Award (2014), and the Carol Mendez Cassell Award for Excellence in Sexuality Education (2014).


4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.
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Before the virus, more than a billion children and teenagers relied upon school for learning. After the virus (or, after the current wave of our current virus), basic assumptions about school and education are no longer reliable. School buildings may become unsafe for large numbers of students. The tax base may no longer support our current approach to school. Without the interaction provided by a formal school structure, students may follow their own curiosity. Many students now possess the technology to learn on their own. And many do not.

Reinventing.school is a new weekly web television series that considers what happens next week, next month, next school year, and the next five years. Hosted by University of Pennsylvania Senior Scholar Howard Blumenthal, Reinventing.school features interviews with teachers, principals, school district leadership, state and Federal government officials, ed-tech innovators, students, leading education professors, authors, realists and futurists from the United States and all over the world.

Each episode features 2-4 distinguished guests in conversation about high priority topics including, for example, the teaching of public health, long-term home schooling, technology access and its alternatives, the role of parents, friendship and social interaction, learning outside the curriculum, the future of testing and evaluation, interruption as part of the academic calendar, job security for teachers and support staff, setting (and rethinking) curriculum priorities, special needs, student perspectives on the job of school, the importance of play, the psychology of group dynamics and social interaction, preparing for future rounds of a virus (or cyberattack or impact of climate change, etc.), college readiness, higher education transformed, the higher education promise in an economically challenged world, and more. Clearly, there is much to discuss; nearly all of it ranks high on the list of priorities for raising the world’s children.