This week, Penny Rabiger casts her net wide for podcasts to stretch her educational thinking

 

Boys Don’t Try

For some no-nonsense discussion around boys, masculinities, class and how these play out in schools, here’s a podcast by the authors of the book Boys Don’t Try. The second episode explores the impact that disadvantage has, and how this will be more acute during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. But it’s not all bad for boys, there are some surprising ways that learning at home may release boys from the shackles of masculinities that can hold them back at school when around their peers.

 

Positive Negative

People react differently to different situations. This podcast finds people from around the world, in a range of professions, situations and states of mind, who are willing to talk about the positive-negative experiences they are having right now. Series 1 centres of course around Covid-19. It would be remiss of me to not mention the fact that episode seven features yours truly, but the episode I would like to highlight is entitled “What kind of people do we want them to be?”. The conversation with a secondary PE teacher, James, is an insightful take on how adjusting to remote teaching and learning is impacting many teachers’ fundamental ideas about the purpose and form of education.

 

Things Unseen

This next podcast is also on the theme of positives from negatives. In the episode I’ve chosen, journalist Remona Aly and Cambridge University Islam scholar Abdal Hakim Murad (also known as Dr Tim Winter) discuss “Ramadan in Lockdown”. While it isn’t directly about education, many teachers will be keenly aware that it is Ramadan this month, and may wonder how it feels for their students and their families to try to spend time fasting and occupied with spiritual devotion, charity and community activity when for the very first time, they and many of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims are spending the month in lockdown. If, as suggested in the podcast, this Ramadan can turn into an opportunity to re-evaluate how British Muslims are seen in society more widely, then greater awareness in our schools and classrooms seems a good place to start.

 

PiXL Leadership Bookclub

There has been a lot of focus on leadership during the current crisis, and one thing that’s apparent is that women leaders seem to be doing pretty well. This might be in part due to the fact that people who look beyond the usual tramlines of experience are likely to learn more about what works. This new podcast series, produced by successful podcasters We Are In Beta, is a collaboration with PiXL’s Rachel Johnson. Each week, Johnson will be joined by two school leaders to discuss one non-education book that can change the way we think, teach and lead. Leadership is a transferable skill, so there are many lessons to be learned from others and from other sectors. I love a good hybrid, and there’s a stellar line-up of diverse and exciting guests, so this promises to be good!

 

In Depth, Out Loud

As a “roadmap” out of lockdown begins to emerge (for what it’s worth), it’s a good opportunity to centre some of my listening choices around what the future might look like. The Conversation provides really good written think pieces at the best of times, and this podcast series doesn’t disappoint. The episode I have chosen is called “What Will The World Be Like After Coronavirus: Four Possible Futures. We seldom think of what and how we teach as being shaped by political economy. This podcast will have you making those links and imagining four possible futures for our schools. Just like the economic models it describes, teachers will find that in terms of education “versions of all of these futures are perfectly possible, if not equally desirable.”