Review by Penny Rabiger

Director of engagement, Lyfta Education

12 Sep 2020, 5:00


Penny’s Podcasts, 7 September 2020

As Black Lives Matter protests fade from the media limelight, Penny Rabiger picks five podcasts to keep anti-racism current in educators’ thinking


The Antiracist Educator podcast

This podcast looks at all manner of issues connected to anti-racist education, and seeks to challenge educators to constantly reflect on their teaching, realising the opportunity we have to recognise the power we have to both reinforce and dismantle racial hierarchies in education. The episode I have chosen looks at the theoretical roots of ‘decolonising the curriculum’, a popular catchphrase which often risks losing its meaning. Two members of The Anti-Racist Educator podcast discuss decolonial theory and explain how it can be applied to the secondary English curriculum, presenting examples of good practice and providing opportunities for listeners to reflect on how they too could apply it to their own subjects, classrooms and other learning environments.


Educating While Black podcast

This is an interesting podcast series which acts as a virtual staffroom where Black educators share and reflect on their experiences. This episode, ‘From Bashment to Boardroom’, features guest, Chantelle looking back on some of her most formative experiences of being a Black educator. Chantelle gives a brilliant account of assumptions made about her suitability for university education, through to her experiences at Teach First and later as a teacher having a line manager casually confess that the school’s leadership team had a ‘secret’ question mark on her suitability for the role based on her giving feedback that was deemed ‘too honest’. This powerful episode is an open chat about the impact of affirming words, intentional deeds and how the job isn’t done until you’ve ‘hoovered the whole house’ making it a down to earth and highly informative listen.


Have You Heard Podcast

This podcast series is both entertaining and informative, and features an American journalist and a scholar as they explore issues in education together, one policy at a time. In episode 92, they ask, ‘Is it time to cancel Teach Like a Champion?’ Two leading American charter school chains who had used this methodology as part of their organisational DNA made the news this summer for deciding to do just that. Teach Like a Champion, the best-selling guide to effective teaching by Doug Lemov, has sold millions of copies. But is it racist? This episode of the podcast hears from teachers and researchers who argue that Lemov’s approach embodies ‘carceral’ pedagogy. The hosts trace this concept back to 1895. Special guests include leading thinkers on this subject Ilana Horn, Joe Truss and Layla Treuhaft-Ali.


The Anti Small Talk Podcast

This podcast is hosted by teacher and blogger Shuaib Khan. It features meaningful conversations on all things relating to education, politics and sociology. The most recent episodes have featured discussions with different teachers and educationalists about inequality from a variety of perspectives and experiences. In episode six, Khan talks with Audrey Pantelis, who discusses racism, bias, racialised gatekeepers, the curriculum, histories and much more.


The PersYou Podcast

This podcast series specialises in leadership and coaching. Its aim is to explore what education might look like in future and to that end, it brings together stories from across the globe, delving into the minds of leaders and experts to find out about the challenges and issues they face. In the episode I have chosen, former headteachers Hannah Wilson and Angie Browne discuss building a future of diversity in education. Wilson has a wealth of experience establishing networks across education sectors specialising in diversity, equality and inclusion. Browne’s new book, Lighting the Way explores the case for ethical leadership in schools and offers a counter-narrative to current approaches. In conversation, they unpick what is holding education back in terms of achieving diversity, offering ideas and strategies for how to better promote it. Topics cover training, early career recruitment and curriculum. This is an insightful exploration of a sensitive and complex topic that requires urgent and focused attention but is too often held back by the highly emotive responses it engenders.

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