Education for Sustainable Democracy

Brett Levy

This show explores how we can prepare the next generation for informed civic engagement, environmental stewardship, and the development of a more just and peaceful world. Host Brett Levy is a researcher of civic and environmental education and an associate professor at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Episodes feature interviews with leaders, innovators, and scholars in civic and environmental education. Please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, or listen from your computer. For information about upcoming episodes, guests, and more, please visit www.esdpodcast.org. Thank you! read less
Society & CultureSociety & Culture

Episodes

Best of ESD: Democracy Prep Charter Schools, with Rashid Duroseau (Civics Program Director, Democracy Prep Public Schools)
Apr 17 2024
Best of ESD: Democracy Prep Charter Schools, with Rashid Duroseau (Civics Program Director, Democracy Prep Public Schools)
What if a school made preparation for democracy its central goal? That’s what Democracy Prep tries to do - not in just one school but in many. This charter school network includes 24 schools in five states, with schools at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. In this episode, Brett talks to Rashid Duroseau, the Civics Program Director at Democracy Prep. Rashid describes the civic participation experiences that these schools require of students, how various courses integrate civic issues into the curriculum, how he found his way into education, and more. This a rebroadcast of an episode first aired in early 2022. More about Democracy PrepThe Civics Program at Democracy PrepDemocracy Prep Public Schools HomepageUSA Today Story on Democracy Prep's Teaching of U.S. HistoryEmpirical Study of Democracy Prep's Effects on Students (by Mathematica) Rashid Duroseau's Brief BioESD Podcast ResourcesEducation for Sustainable Democracy HomepageBrett Levy's Open-Access Research ArticlesEducation for Sustainable Democracy Facebook Page (Please Like!)YouTube Channel for Education for Sustainable Democracy (Please subscribe!)Related ESD EpisodesCivically Engaged Districts Project, Part 1 (with Administrators & Prof. Beth Rubin)Civically Engaged Districts Project, Part 2 (with Students & Teachers)Engagement & Equity in Civic Education (with Prof. Jane Lo)Support the show
Lateral Reading & Other Media Literacy Skills, with Sarah McGrew (University of Maryland)
Jan 21 2024
Lateral Reading & Other Media Literacy Skills, with Sarah McGrew (University of Maryland)
In today’s media environment, there’s no shortage of information and disinformation – so how do we know if we’re being misled? How can young people know? The ability to tell fact from fiction is vital for maintaining a healthy civil society, and researchers are exploring how to teach these skills.  On this episode, Brett speaks with Sarah McGrew, a cutting-edge researcher in this area. After earning her PhD at Stanford in 2019, she joined the faculty at the University of Maryland, where she has several ongoing studies about fostering students’ media literacy. On this episode, she discusses  her research, key findings, and practical advice for educators and parents.  Episode ResourcesAbout Sarah McGrewSarah McGrew's Articles (Google Scholar)Media Literacy Standards MapBrett's Media Literacy Education PaperESD Podcast ResourcesBrett Levy's Open-Access Research Articles (Free Downloads)Education for Sustainable Democracy Facebook Page (Please Like!)YouTube Channel for Education for Sustainable Democracy (Please Subscribe!)Brett Levy's Twitter Page: Handle @brettlmlevyEducation for Sustainable Democracy HomepageRelated Episodes of ESD Helping Youth Become Critical News Consumers, with John Silva and Miriam Romais (News Literacy Project)Teaching Social & Historical Issues through Film, with Jeremy Stoddard (University of Wisconsin-Madison) Combatting Misinformation in the Classroom,  with John Silva and Miriam Romais (News Literacy Project)  Support the show
Civic Education during a Democratic Crisis, with Walter Parker (University of Washington, Seattle)
Oct 7 2023
Civic Education during a Democratic Crisis, with Walter Parker (University of Washington, Seattle)
How should educators prepare youth for democratic participation at a moment when democracy itself seems so fragile? For ESD's third anniversary episode, Walter Parker, professor emeritus at the University of Washington - Seattle, explores the answer to this question by sharing ideas from his new book,  Education for Liberal Democracy: Using Classroom Discussion to Build Knowledge and Voice. Walter Parker is one of the most influential social studies education scholars of our time. In his new book and on this episode, he argues that education can and must address a twofold crisis in our democracy – a legitimacy crisis and an epistemic crisis. Brett and Walter discuss how this can be done in the classroom and beyond.  Episode ResourcesAbout Walter ParkerWalter's New Book: Education for Liberal DemocracyWalter's Knowledge-in-Action ProjectGutman's Book: Democratic EducationBrett's Media Literacy Education PaperESD Podcast ResourcesBrett Levy's Open-Access Research Articles (Free Downloads)Education for Sustainable Democracy Facebook Page (Please Like!)YouTube Channel for Education for Sustainable Democracy (Please Subscribe!)Brett Levy's Twitter Page: Handle @brettlmlevyEducation for Sustainable Democracy HomepageFeedspot's 100 Best Classroom Podcasts (including ESD!)Related Episodes of ESDEngagement & Equity in Civic Education, with Jane Lo (Michigan State)The Civically Engaged Districts Project, with Beth Rubin (Rutgers) and NJ District Administrators (New Brunswick Public Schools)Helping Youth Become Critical News Consumers, with John Silva and Miriam Romais (News Literacy Project)Support the show
Creating "Brave Spaces" for Learning, with Dr. Kewsi Burgess (Hackett Middle School, Albany, NY)
Sep 6 2023
Creating "Brave Spaces" for Learning, with Dr. Kewsi Burgess (Hackett Middle School, Albany, NY)
How can literacy learning support civic engagement? How can educators best support the literacy learning of young African-American males? On this episode, Brett speaks with Kewsi Burgess, a veteran middle school teacher in the City School District of Albany. Dr. Burgess recently earned his doctoral degree at the University at Albany, and his dissertation  closely examined how one seasoned African-American educator supported the literacy learning of the black boys in his classroom. In this interview, he explains how literacy learning is intertwined with civic education and how teachers can create a positive classroom culture that encourages broad and meaningful participation. Kewsi also discusses his personal and professional journey and how he is using what he learned in his dissertation study. Episode ResourcesArticle about Kewsi BurgessVideo featuring Kewsi BurgessE. Moje on Adolescent LiteracyESD Podcast ResourcesBrett Levy's Open-Access Research Articles (Free Downloads)Education for Sustainable Democracy Facebook Page (Please Like!)YouTube Channel for Education for Sustainable Democracy (Please Subscribe!)Brett Levy's Twitter Page: Handle @brettlmlevyEducation for Sustainable Democracy HomepageRelated Episodes of ESDThe Civically Engaged Districts Project, with Beth Rubin (Rutgers) and NJ District Administrators (New Brunswick Public Schools)Helping Youth Become Critical News Consumers, with John Silva and Miriam Romais (News Literacy Project)Support the show
Best of ESD: Learning to Care for Our Community Environments, with Dr. Ethan Lowenstein (Eastern Michigan University & Southest Michigan Stewardship Coalition)
Aug 8 2023
Best of ESD: Learning to Care for Our Community Environments, with Dr. Ethan Lowenstein (Eastern Michigan University & Southest Michigan Stewardship Coalition)
How can we help young people learn to care for their local communities and their natural environments?  Ethan Lowenstein believes that a big part of the answer is place-based education - a method that enables youth to explore, analyze, and begin to address local challenges.  Lowenstein is a professor at Eastern Michigan University and the director of the Southeast Michigan Stewardship (SEMIS) Coalition, which has built a broad network of educators and local organizations to foster place-based education in Michigan and beyond. In this "Best of ESD" episode, first published in 2021, Lowenstein tells Brett about how the principles of place-based education have driven the SEMIS Coalition's sustained success, growth, and sense of community. Resources Related to SEMIS:Southeast Michigan Stewardship (SEMIS) Coalition  SiteArticle about Ethan LowensteinSEMIS in the NewsSEMIS Coalition Facebook PageMore on Related Topics:Place-Based Education Videos, by EdutopiaBrett Levy's Paper on "Civic Science Education"Brett Levy's Paper on Environmental Political ParticipationBrett Levy's Other Open-Access Research ArticlesPlace-Based Teacher Preparation Program at Eastern Michigan UniversityESD Resources:ESD Episode on Mikva Challenge (mentioned by Ethan)Education for Sustainable Democracy HomepageEducation for Sustainable Democracy Facebook PageESD YouTube Channel (Please subscribe!)Support the show
Best of ESD: Integrating History and Current Events & Creating an Open Classroom Climate, with Amber Joseph (East Side Community School, NYC)
Jul 3 2023
Best of ESD: Integrating History and Current Events & Creating an Open Classroom Climate, with Amber Joseph (East Side Community School, NYC)
This is a re-broadcast of one of ESD's most popular episodes.  Amber Joseph, a public school social studies teacher in New York City,  discusses how teachers can create safe spaces for discussing controversial public issues and how they can guide students to explore potentially emotion-laden current events, such as police shootings. We also consider how history teachers can integrate current events into their curricula. Ms. Joseph currently teaches 8th grade history and civics at East Side Community School in Manhattan. Enjoy hearing from this dynamic and wise educator.Resources Related to this EpisodeVideo Highlights of this Episode (15 min)Webinar on Discussing Controversial Issues in Classrooms, featuring Amber, Brett, & Others (Democracy Ready NY Coalition)Amber's Article on Pandemic Teaching (New York Review of Books)Brett Levy's Article on Generating Dynamic Classroom Discussions (The Social Studies)Brett Levy's Other Open Access Research ArticlesEducation for Sustainable Democracy SiteESD Facebook Page (Please like!)ESD YouTube Channel (Please subscribe!)Related ESD EpisodesVoice from the Classroom: Teaching the Capitol Riot in a Politically Diverse High School (with Lauren Collet-Gildard, Arlington High School)Guiding Productive Political Discussions, with Diana Hess (University of Wisconsin-Madison)Teaching Elections & Modeling Political Tolerance, with Wayne Journell (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)Engagement & Equity in Civic Education, with Professor Jane Lo (Michigan State University)Support the show
A Research-Practice Partnership for Civic Education, with Kei Kawashima-Ginsburg (Tufts & CIRCLE) and Mary Ellen Daneels (Illinois Civics Hub)
Jun 2 2023
A Research-Practice Partnership for Civic Education, with Kei Kawashima-Ginsburg (Tufts & CIRCLE) and Mary Ellen Daneels (Illinois Civics Hub)
How can state laws improve civic education, and how can research-practice partnerships support the enactment of these state laws?  This episode explores how an ambitious Illinois civic education law, passed in 2015, is being enacted with the help of a research-practice partnership.  I speak with Kei Kawashima-Ginsburg and Mary Ellen Daneels, who are leading this partnership, which has helped tens of thousands of educators strengthen their civics-oriented teaching. Kei is the Director of CIRCLE, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, and Mary Ellen is the Director of the Illinois Civics Hub and the Illinois Democracy Schools Network. In our conversation, we discuss how their work is helping teachers enact best practices in civic education, including service learning, simulations, and discussions of controversial issues.Episode ResourcesIllinois Civics HubOnline Civic Ed Professional DevelopmentCIRCLE (Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement)Research-Practice Partnership NetworkESD Podcast ResourcesBrett Levy's Open-Access Research Articles (Free Downloads)Education for Sustainable Democracy Facebook Page (Please Like!)YouTube Channel for Education for Sustainable Democracy (Please Subscribe!)Brett Levy's Twitter Page: Handle @brettlmlevyEducation for Sustainable Democracy HomepageRelated Episodes of ESDBuilding a Movement for Civic Education, with Michael Rebell (Teachers College, Columbia University)The Civically Engaged Districts Project, with Beth Rubin (Rutgers) and NJ District Administrators (New Brunswick Public Schools)Youth Exploring Public Issues & Taking Action, with Jill Bass (Mikva Challenge)Students Addressing Public Issues through Action Civics, with Scott Warren (Generation Citizen)Support the show
Learning about Election Integrity, with Tom Connolly and Brendan Lovullo (NYS Board of Elections) and Meghan Cook (Center for Technology in Government)
Nov 2 2022
Learning about Election Integrity, with Tom Connolly and Brendan Lovullo (NYS Board of Elections) and Meghan Cook (Center for Technology in Government)
How do we ensure that elections are free and fair? For the past couple of years, we’ve heard more and more false claims about stolen elections, but the truth is that our election systems are very well-managed. Yes, there are areas where systems can be improved, but among the biggest problems in our election system now are misinformation about the elections and the skepticism that this creates.In this episode, I speak with Meghan Cook, Program Director of the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany, and two election experts – Tom Connolly, the Director of Election Operations at the New York State Board of Elections, and Brendan Lovullo, the Deputy Director of Election Operations at the New York State Board of Elections. In our discussion, we talk about how elections are managed in New York State and elsewhere, and we address some common misconceptions head-on. We talk about how votes are counted, how election machines are secured, how election workers address problems that arise, and much more.Our Article on Teaching about Election IntegrityOur Guests & Related ResourcesMegan Cook's WebsiteCenter for Technology in Government at UAlbanyNew York State Board of Elections WebsiteESD Podcast ResourcesEducation for Sustainable Democracy HomepageBrett Levy's Open-Access Research Articles (Free Downloads)Education for Sustainable Democracy Facebook Page (Please Like!)YouTube Channel for Education for Sustainable Democracy (Please Subscribe!)Brett's Twitter Page for Handle @brettlmlevyRelated Episodes of ESDBuilding a Movement for Civic Education, with Michael Rebell (Teachers College, Columbia University)A Congressional Bill to Strengthen Civic Education, with Cat McDonald (DC Lobbyist for Civic Ed)Support the show
Scholar Collectives for Improving Education, with Kevin Kumashiro (former Dean, University of San Francisco School of Education)
Oct 6 2022
Scholar Collectives for Improving Education, with Kevin Kumashiro (former Dean, University of San Francisco School of Education)
How can scholars of education work together to strengthen educational policy and practice? In this episode, I talk to Kevin Kumashiro about some of his recent work to build education scholar collectives,  groups of scholars and researchers working together to share their knowledge and perspectives to improve education. He talks about several of these scholar collectives in various parts of the United States, and we discuss their origins, goals, successes, and challenges. We also talk about how they work and the different forms they can take.  Kevin Kumashiro has served in many roles in the field of education, including professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago and  Dean of the  School of Education at the University of San Francisco.  Links Related to Scholar CollectivesKevin Kumashiro's Site (with conference info)Kevin's Article on Scholarly CollectivesChicago's Scholar Collective: CREATECalifornia's Scholar Collective: CARE-EDEducation Deans for Equity and JusticeESD Podcast ResourcesEducation for Sustainable Democracy HomepageBrett Levy's Open-Access Research Articles (Free Downloads)Education for Sustainable Democracy Facebook Page (Please Like!)YouTube Channel for Education for Sustainable Democracy (Please Subscribe!)Brett's Twitter Page for Handle @brettlmlevyRelated Episodes of ESDBuilding a Movement for Civic Education, with Michael Rebell (Teachers College, Columbia University & Democracy Ready New York)The Civically Engaged Districts Project, with Prof. Beth Rubin (Rutgers) and Four District Administrators (New Brunswick Public Schools)Support the show
The New Seal of Civic Readiness for High School Diplomas, with Lisa Kissinger (Academic Administrator for Social Studies, Shenendehowa Central School District, NY)
Sep 1 2022
The New Seal of Civic Readiness for High School Diplomas, with Lisa Kissinger (Academic Administrator for Social Studies, Shenendehowa Central School District, NY)
What is the Seal of Civic Readiness, and how can students earn it on their high school diplomas? Last year, New York became the fifth U.S. state to begin awarding this honor to graduating high school seniors for demonstrating certain levels of civic knowledge and participation.  Over 100 New York schools piloted the program during the last school year, and in this episode, I speak to a district administrator who oversaw the rollout of the Seal of Civic Readiness in her large upstate New York district. Even though this episode focuses on one state's policy, it holds lessons for states around the country and perhaps countries around the world, so please stay tuned, even if you're far from New York. Lisa Kissinger has worked as a social studies teacher at the middle and high school levels and now serves as the Academic Administrator for Social Studies Education in the Shenendehowa Central School District, which is a about twenty miles north of Albany and has about 3000 students on one high school campus. In this episode, I talk to Lisa about how and why the state developed the Seal of Civic Readiness, requirements for earning the Seal, how exactly students at Shenendehowa High School earned the Seal on their diplomas, challenges and successes of the program's first year, how she expects her school's program to expand opportunities for students to earn the Seal, and her advice for educators elsewhere who are interested in this type of work.  Seal of Civic Readiness & Related ResourcesEducator  Toolkit for the Seal of Civic ReadinessNYS Information about the Seal of Civic ReadinessKey Contact about the Seal: christine.radez@nysed.orgNew York State Council for the Social StudiesESD Podcast ResourcesEducation for Sustainable Democracy HomepageBrett Levy's Open-Access Research Articles (Free Downloads)Education for Sustainable Democracy Facebook Page (Please Like!)YouTube Channel for Education for Sustainable Democracy (Please Subscribe!)Brett's Twitter Page for Handle @brettlmlevyRelated Episodes of ESDThe Civically Engaged Districts Project, with Prof. Beth Rubin (Rutgers) and Four District Administrators (New Brunswick Public Schools)Youth Exploring Public Issues & Taking Action, with Jill Bass (Mikva Challenge)Support the show
Connecting Students with the Natural World, with Dr. Cornelia Harris (Highland Middle School in Highland, NY)
Aug 4 2022
Connecting Students with the Natural World, with Dr. Cornelia Harris (Highland Middle School in Highland, NY)
How can we foster young people's sense of connection to the natural environment?  For over twenty years, teacher Cornelia (Lia) Harris has been helping adolescents develop this sense of connection. In this episode, Brett Levy talks to Lia about her work as a middle school science teacher, how she helps her students spend time outside and feel connected to the Earth, and what she learned from her recent dissertation study about what students got out of participating in a citizen science project along the Hudson River.  Lia also explains why she thinks place-based education can be so transformative for students – even though it can be a bit unpredictable.Lia Harris recently earned her doctorate from the University at Albany, State University of New York. She currently teaches at Highland Middle School in Highland, New York. Related ResourcesArticle by Brett & Lia on "Civic Science Education"Place-Based Education Site (David Sobel)Hudson River Eel ProjectCitizen Science Opportunities ESD Podcast ResourcesEducation for Sustainable Democracy HomepageBrett Levy's Open-Access Research Articles (Free Downloads)Education for Sustainable Democracy Facebook Page (Please Like!)YouTube Channel for Education for Sustainable Democracy (Please Subscribe!)Brett's Twitter Page for Handle @brettlmlevyRelated EpisodesLearning to Care for Our Community Environments, with Ethan Lowenstein (Eastern Michigan University & the Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition) Earth Force & Environmental Citizenship, with Alexis Thorbecke (Program Manager at Earth Force) Integrating History and Current Events & Creating an Open Classroom Climate, with Amber Joseph (East Side Community School, NYC) Support the show