On Moose River Farm with Anne Phinney (017)

For 25 years, Anne Phinney was a teacher who believed firmly in the power of connecting with animals to influence kids' empathy, compassion, and ideas about teamwork. For all her life, she's been crazy about horses! She now spends full days living her dream life on Moose River Farm in the Adirondack Woods with her husband Rod, caring for a menagerie of horses, goats, llamas, chickens, geese, tortoises, dogs, and a pot-bellied pig. Today she offers llama treks, as well as sessions in equi-reflection, providing opportunities for people to learn from and with horses in deep ways. We discuss all of that and more during the 2018 Thanksgiving Special.

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Peter Horn
Leading in Sync with Jill Harrison Berg (016)

Jill Harrison Berg is an educator with nearly 30 years of experience working in all kinds of schools. Her new book Leading in Sync: Teacher Leaders and Principals Working Together for Student Learning (2018, ASCD) is the richest resource I’ve encountered in the last decade for people in schools who are ready to build the trust necessary for real collaboration and marshal the vast resources latent in every faculty for the best possible learning outcomes for kids. This episode will be of special interest to educators now working in schools, but anyone who works on a team in any kind of organization will benefit from what Jill has to say. [Art by Zuzy Gujda.]

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Resolving Contradictions with Brent Farrand (015)

This episode probes the value of mathematics and debate for students—and everyone else. Brent Farrand is an award-winning math teacher and kingmaker debate coach who established the debate team at Science High in Newark, NJ in 1979. [Thumbnail portrait of infinity by Brent Andrew Farrand.]

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Peter Horn
Learning in Stories with Jake Halpern (014)

Jake Halpern has written about fame junkies, freegans, and die-hards who won’t leave their home under any circumstances. Also ice fortresses, enchanted forests, and twins switched at birth. One through-line for this award-winning journalist and author is storytelling; another is just plain learning.

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Peter Horn
Mother's Day with Gretchen (013)

Mom taught me how to braid bread, play fiddle, and disagree with others respectfully--and so much else. We discuss the value of praise in teaching and child-rearing, my grandmother Miriam George Meister, and a method of talent education that aims for world peace.  

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Peter Horn
Drama, Democracy & Hamilton with Oskar Eustis (011)

Oskar Eustis founded his first theatre company at the age of 16. From Tony Kushner's Angels in America to Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton, Eustis has been intimately involved in the creation and development of many of the greatest works of American theatre of the past 30 years. Oskar and I sat down in his office at the Public Theater in February to talk about important teachers, Shakespeare, drama, democracy, Hamilton, the state of civil discourse ... and a few new ideas on the horizon.

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Better Alt Ed (010)

Named for the year of its founding, Project '79 has been supporting and reclaiming high school students as learners for four decades. The oldest continuously running alternative education program I know about, it's also--for my money--just about the best way to do school. This month's episode let me sit down with coordinators Alan Lantis and Jackie Spring to talk about what matters most in designing and sustaining a program that keeps kids at the center of its work, addressing social and emotional needs as well as academic development.

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Peter Horn
My Brothers, Teachers (007)

These guys taught me everything from how to drive to how to recognize a I-IV-V chord progression in a song. The weekend before Thanksgiving, I sat down with my older brothers, John, a trial attorney (right), and Gregory, a firefighter (center), to talk about learning and music. 

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How to Connect with Teens (006)

My conversation with Maureen Mazzarese, an expert in social and emotional development. A therapist and counselor with four decades of experience, Maureen has worked with kids and parents of all ages, but this conversation focuses on adolescence--and the particular challenges it can present. We discuss "givens" of adolescent development, those normal tendencies that adults often forget, which leads to some basics of how to connect with teens (and a couple things to avoid). Parents, educators, employers, and friends of teens, this one's for you!

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6 Ideas About Writing I Want to Live Forever (005)

A quick trip through some ideas about writing that I personally would like to live forever—a companion to last month’s crowdsourced theme “The Idea about Writing You Most Want to Die” that I discussed with that brilliant panel of educators at Bread Loaf (004).

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Peter Horn
The Idea About Writing You Most Want to Die (004)

Five-paragraph essays. Writing for the teacher only. That careful writing is for English compositions but not lab reports. That there's a formula for "good" writing. What is the idea about writing (or the teaching of writing) you'd most like to die? For this episode, a panel of current Master's students at the Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English consider a range of answers to this question. 

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Supervision, Poetry, and Feminism with Paula Roy (003)

Paula Roy is the teaching supervisor who hired me to work at Westfield High School in New Jersey in 1997. In our conversation, we talk about the possibilities and the challenge of supervising teachers; how to establish a safe, yet challenging space for classroom discussion; why sarcasm doesn't work in groups; feminism as an f-word anybody can embrace; and poetry as a way to see how everything is connected. 

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School and Civil Discourse with Bob Petix (002)

The current state of political discussion shows that somebody's got to provide a place for people to learn to listen and challenge each other respectfully. Veteran principal Dr. Robert G. Petix shares some ideas about this, as well as the difference between really leading a school and merely managing it.

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Talking TV with Kevin Johnson (001)

My pilot episode showcases a conversation with Kevin Johnson, sound engineer, director, television teacher--and a former student of mine. We open with Quentin Tarantino's definition of the frame as the basis for cinema. From there we discuss the technical (but useful) distinction between learning and acquiring skills, characters' names on Cheers, the many demands facing teachers today, and a different take on designing a school's master schedule. 

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