Kevin: I don't know about you, but I often wonder about the structures that we hope are on autopilot, like the well-being of our students, and the systems in place to support their expected challenges. I know what happens when we assume, so I thought I'd dig a bit deeper, and explore the student lifecycle that extends beyond the school day.
I want to know more about issues of equity and access. I want to understand what we should be doing to support young people's dreams and delve into the lives of our most vulnerable student populations. Those populations who need all of us to believe in their struggle and innate abilities to thrive. So, I've extended the microphone across the country, to bring you and I closer to an answer that better prepares us for today and tomorrow.
I had the pleasure of discussing these issues with the famed author and godmother of Silicon Valley, Esther Wojcicki, and Dr. Tammy Pawloski, who has crisscrossed this nation to support children of poverty. I have such a deep respect for teachers, those that toil every day, form the relationships, inspire, often the uninspired, and particularly those who are able to help engage children with their own social-emotional challenges. Well, today I'm privileged to be joined by one of America's leading educators. Esther Wojcicki is with us. She's a journalist, mother, former California Teacher of the Year. She built a small journalism class of just a handful of students into one of the best journalism classes in any high school in America, with well over 600 students attending. She's received many awards, she's been a driving force behind the notion of blended learning, and Esther, thank you so much for joining us today. It's an honor to have you with us.
Esther: I'm very honored to be here, especially with your thinker statue.
Kevin: Well, you know, one of us in this shot is thinking, right? And that's what that statue is for.
Esther: I hope so.
Kevin: I wanna unpack why you decided to become a teacher. How did you know that was part of your life's calling?
Esther: Very early on, as a child, I always liked explaining things to people and helping people do things. And it started in the classroom. I was always helping my friends when they didn't understand something. But back in those days, you got into trouble for it. It was not allowed. So, I still loved doing it. And when I got to be older, older being 15, I went to work at a local parochial school, and I loved working with those kids. And what I was is I was the playground, "supervisor." And I was there to help the kids learn to play different sports. And it got to be so popular, the school wondered, what was I doing? And all I was doing is I was just having a really good time with all the kids. It was fantastic. So, I realized at that point that I seem to have some kind of a inkling, a gift, for working with kids. So, that was the beginning. But I went to the University of California at Berkeley, where I majored in journalism, got a graduate degree in journalism, and I always wanted to also be a journalist.
And the reason I wanted to do that is I wanted to be able to tell the stories of people that didn't have a voice. I wanted to protect everybody and their rights. And this was in the 1960s and '70s. And for those of you that don't know, back in those days, women were not allowed to really be journalists. You were allowed to write for what was called the women's section of the paper. And if you didn't wanna write for the women's section of the paper, well, then there was no job for you. And I just wasn't that interested in it. I wanted to write news, I wanted to write opinion, I wanted to write features. And I found a newspaper where I could do that, actually. It was called "The Berkeley Daily Gazette." It was back in the day when it still existed. But I just wrote a little bit. And it was a smaller paper. I think the reason that I was given this opportunity was because they didn't have a lot of other people. Then, after my children were born, I decided it was just too much of a struggle to be a journalist. Hey, why not teach journalism? That was my idea. If I can't be a journalist myself, I can teach journalism, and hopefully these kids can go out in the world and do a really good job as journalists.
Kevin: You and I both grew up in a time where certain people didn't have certain advantages, obviously. But it sounds like you were the type that said, "All right, I'm not gonna let that stop me. I'm gonna figure out a way to do what I feel I want to do or what I'm called to do." And what do you think propelled that drive, that desire, even when you said, "I have kids, I can't be a full-time journalist, but this journalism industry needs more people that understand how to maneuver around it the right way. So, as I go to teach, I'm going to create a journalism program." What led you to have that level of drive to keep pushing, even though there were obstacles in the way?
Esther: I grew up in a household, my parents were immigrants. We didn't have a lot of money. And there was a tragedy that happened when I was 10 years old. My youngest brother passed away because of not having the right medical information and being denied entrance to a hospital because we didn't have any money. And what it told me, as a 10-year-old, was that if I wanted to succeed, and also to protect myself, I had to know about things. I couldn't rely on other people to help me, because as it was with my brother, there wasn't anybody there to help. And so, I needed to do that. I needed to protect myself, I need to protect my friends. So, this drive to succeed and this drive for education just became embedded. It was an innate passion. And I realized that I was able to lift myself out of poverty by getting an education. And so, when I finally graduated, I thought one of the things I wanna do is help other people. I want to show them how important it is, and it's not just, a lot of education, you don't need a Ph.D., but you need to be able to think. That's the most important thing.
And that's why I like your thinker statue, because it's really important for people to have critical thinking skills. And what I was doing, and what I am doing in journalism program, I teach how to take information from multiple sources, filter it yourself, and figure out what's the most important thing for you to feature. How to write the lead, how to gather information, how to decide whether this source is a good source or that source is a better source, you know, what is the most effective way? And so, when I was teaching this to kids, I'm teaching them how to think. And then, my philosophy was always, if you do it wrong the first time, you write that story wrong the first time, no problem. Just do it again, just revise. And so, in my classes, no one got a B. No one got a C, D, F. It didn't exist, because all you had to ever do was revise. And they all learned to revise, and to accept the fact that no one's perfect. No one. And even though I wrote as a journalist and worked as a journalist, I would say to them, "I revise too, all the time." So, it's not that you're not good at it, it's just that you have to practice, you have to revise in order to do it the right way.
Kevin: Part of me feels like, Esther, that this idea of critical and analytical thinking is scarily becoming a lost art, that we have a lot of people more reflexive, as opposed to reflective, that folks won't stop and think. You talk about the need to relax. How can we make sure our kids get that, even with all these instant, sort of, technological social media images that require immediate attention? And people say, "What do you feel about this?" "Well, I don't like it." "Well, you don't know anything about it, because you haven't even looked into it." How do we get to that?
Esther: So, one thing I'm trying to get the education system to change is the amount of memorization that's required for kids. Because we give kids tests every year, and if they don't do well, then the teacher gets blamed, and the parents get upset, and everybody gets worried. In fact, everything that the kids are missing in this pandemic, the majority of it is memorization. So, if we could teach the kids to pursue things that they're interested in now, and try to understand them, and use technology as a way to get information, to help them do whatever it is they wanna do, they will learn a lot more about critical thinking, and doing that, and following that process, than they will about memorizing dates or information. And so, that's one of the things that I've been trying to help parents do, and to realize how important it is to have project-based learning and give kids projects. And there's a school in San Francisco, a new charter school, and that's the philosophy that they're using. And I think that more and more schools are doing that.
There's a school in San Diego, High Tech High in San Diego.
Kevin: Oh, yes. I know High Tech High.
Esther: Fantastic place, and fantastic school. And they do project-based learning, where the kids are involved in every step of the way. They take kids from very low-income areas, who have practically no hope of ever going to college, and their graduation rate is 99%. And the majority of those kids complete the four-year college. So, what are they doing that other schools aren't doing? Well, they're giving kids an opportunity to work independently on projects that they care about. And that is one of the things that I did in class. The project they were doing when my class was a newspaper. That expanded to many magazines, and podcasts, and video, and audio, and website development, all that stuff. But in order for them to do it, they had to think, and they had to collaborate. So, I was always working toward what I call the four Cs. And the four Cs are collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication. That's what I wanted every kid to learn.
Kevin: I haven't heard anyone make reference to the fact that the pandemic could be an opportunity to get kids re-engaged in learning. Most people are talking about, oh, they can't go to school, kids can't be tested, the teachers don't have an opportunity to teach in the brick and mortar classrooms they're accustomed to. But I'm intrigued by your thesis that, hey, this could be opportunity to meet kids where they are, allow the technology that is presented in front of them to be a tool to engage them, motivate them, inspire them. And by the way, if they are motivated to want to learn, as opposed to being told they need to learn, maybe at the end of the day, this could be better.
Esther: That's right. Always take the opportunity as the world presents it. Because we can't plan, we can't predict, even though we think we can. And so, we have to take advantage of the situation. Actually, within the last eight months, starting in June, I started a company with former students of mine. They're in their 30s. And the purpose of that is to give kids an opportunity to learn things they care about, now. And it's called trac.app. And it's the creators, the content creators are all teenagers. The target users are all kids 8 to 13.
The goal is, okay, your kid is really upset being on Zoom all day. Yeah, well, I don't blame them. Here's an opportunity for them to do something they may wanna do. These are subjects you don't learn in school. These are things that you always wanted to learn, but somehow never got the opportunity to learn. So, let's try to make this time when we're all stuck at home productive, instead of pining away for the way it used to be. And are we ever gonna go back to the way it used to be? Well, it doesn't seem like it's gonna happen even in September, with all these new variants that are out there. So, we need to learn how to cope in the situation that we're living in today.
Kevin: You talk about memorization. I've shared it a lot, I know you understand it intuitively, this idea of lecture, stand, deliver, memorize, regurgitate it back. That's so old, and it's non-productive.
Esther: It doesn't work. You know what? It just doesn't work. All the research shows it doesn't work. So, the question is, why did we do it? Well, if you just think about prior to this digital age that we have, how did you transmit information? You had to talk, or you had to read. Those are the two alternatives, talk or read. So they put people in big groups, and they talked at them. But today, we don't have to do that anymore, so can we please stop doing it?
Kevin: Yeah, let's actually fix something. Let's solve something. Let's collaborate and figure out how to make it work. So, I told you I wanted to ask you about TRICK. And this is one of your secrets of success. It doesn't just apply to the student in the classroom, it really is something that applies to life.
Esther: I developed this acronym because people were asking me, "What did you do in your classroom?" You know, "Why do all the kids in the school wanna take your class?" And I was like, "Well, it's not because I'm giving out pizza on Friday." It's because what I'm giving out, it's kind of interesting. I'm giving out trust and respect. I trust them, I respect them, I give them a lot of independence to think and do things together. I collaborate with them. I don't just dictate and say "These are the way we're doing it. I'm in charge and you just have to listen." That doesn't exist. I don't do that. And I always treat them with kindness. So, this is what TRICK stands for: trust, respect, independence, collaboration, and kindness.
Kevin: And as I said, it's not just for students in the classroom. There are some of the so-called great world leaders, great corporate leaders, who could apply TRICK, wouldn't you say?
Esther: Yes, well, actually, it's really important. Yes, I'm doing TRICK for corporations now, to try to help people understand how important it is for people that are employed to feel trusted and respected. No one wants to spend their life doing things just like a robot. We're all human beings, we all have feelings. And so, I'm doing TRICK, as I said, for corporations, and I actually have a website, thetrickmethod.com. So, I have multiple websites trying to work with corporations. And I think, hopefully, that's gonna help. I also think this TRICK belongs in personal relationships. So important. You know, the initial attraction, you know, you walk by, and it's like, "Hmm, not bad." So, that's the initial attraction. But then, you have to trust and respect that person, and they have to feel valued, and that you have to give them independence. Don't force them to do something in tandem all the time. And then, collaborate with them on making decisions about what you're gonna do, and always treat them with kindness.
That's what we need more in the world today than ever before. It's kindness, treating people with kindness, because there was a lot of unkindness, I would say, in the past few years. And I would like to get rid of those feelings and, you know, I don't wanna get mad at anybody. I think we all need to be kind to each other.
Kevin: It makes so much sense. You know, today's diverse student population includes so many children with so many social-emotional challenges, so many mental challenges. Obviously, the TRICK approach means a lot to them. But this is what I really wanna know. What would you say to school leaders, teachers, superintendents, who feel overwhelmed by the increasing number of kids that present to them every day with challenges? How can you maintain continuity and consistency in applying this standard to our most challenged subset of students? I mean, I just think that is something that practically, is a challenge.
Esther: So, first of all, I would advise, like, all the people in school leadership roles to look at this gap that we've had in education as an opportunity for learning different things, and not to keep saying, "Oh, all of our kids are a year behind." So, they're a year behind in memorizing, but maybe that memorizing doesn't work. And not only that, all the research shows that if you memorize something and get an A in the class, at the end of one year, you only remember 6%. So, why did we memorize? Let's just instead of having this burden put on the kids of "Oh, you know, you're not as good as you should be," why don't we just say, "You've had an opportunity to learn other things?" And to function... "And now we're gonna go back to school, it's gonna be different. Probably it's gonna be hybrid, but you can do it." You know, your mindset is what is most important. And Carol Dweck at Stanford, she's the one that talks about mindset. She basically says, "It's your mindset that helps you succeed, or it leads to failure."
So, it is your mindset. And so, that's what we wanna give all our kids, this sense of "You can do it. you might not have learned the same things, but you definitely learned something." We all learn, no matter whether it's in a school or not. As a matter of fact, you learn more when you're not in school. All the research shows that. So, now, getting back to superintendents and principals and people like that, my theory is that 20% of the school program, of the school day, or the school week, or school year, should be devoted to project-based learning, should be devoted to kids directing their own learning. And I call it the 20% time. Twenty percent of the time, kids should be able to work with their friends, if they wanna learn how to game more effectively, if they wanna build games, or if they wanna build a computer. One of my grandchildren was so addicted to computers. I said, "If you really love computer games that much, you should build a really good gaming computer." And he's like, "Wow, that's a great idea."
So I took him down to this shop, that unfortunately doesn't exist anymore, called Fry's, and we went shopping, and I thought it's only gonna cost, you know, $50 or whatever. Try $500 later. It was my idea, unfortunately, but he then built a gaming computer, and he was really passionate about doing it. That's the kind of thing you want, your kids to be passionate about doing something, and then be able to do it. There's a lot of things out there that kids are passionate about. They can find a lot of that stuff, by the way, on Tract.
Kevin: So, last question. I mentioned it earlier. Talk about relax.
Esther: So, I think when you're really stressed and concerned, you cannot relax. And then, unfortunately, it becomes a vicious circle. So, you know, when you don't relax, then you get sick, and you increase your weight by accident because, you know, you're just eating and doing other things that you probably wouldn't do otherwise. So, I think that meditation, and I know it sounds kind of corny, but, you know, meditation does work. And I remember doing in class, one minute meditation before class starts, just one minute, it seemed to make a big difference. So, I would just recommend that people step back and give themselves a pat on the back for coping as well as they did in this pandemic. You know, so many of us have lost so much, but we have to move forward. We have to. You know, there's no alternative. And we have to try to do it in the best way possible, together, and with kindness, and helping each other, and just little things that matter. So, in this Tract game, the kids, they earn XP, extra points. And one of the things that they can do with their extra points is buy food for other kids, or plant trees.
And I cannot tell you how many kids, I was just shocked, donating their XP to buy food for other kids. I mean, it made me cry to think about it. Because so many people don't have enough. Look at all the people that have lost their jobs, their homes, their loved ones. So, we're in this together, all of us in the world. We need to work together to help each other have a better place.
Kevin: Well, Esther Wojcicki, that's why you're an American treasure. Thank you so much for all you do for not just the children, but this country and world as a whole. We need people who view the world like you. Thank you for joining us.
Esther: It's a pleasure.
Kevin: I'm so pleased to have this next guest on this show. Dr. Tammy Pawloski. I met her several years ago at a conference in Hilton Head, South Carolina. And hearing Dr. Pawloski, or Tammy, speak, it changed my perspective on what we need to do to prepare our kids for the future. And I'm not just talking about academics. I'm talking about how are we going to deal with and accommodate the mental health challenges of children, particularly children who come from poverty? Tammy helped me understand that with her work, and I'm so pleased to have her. She is a South Carolina native. She knows firsthand what poverty is like. She grew up in areas that were impoverished throughout the state. Her father was a high school principal, and that's how she got to know the state, and got to know some of the students that he worked with. Tammy, as part of her journey, developed a passion for creative writing.
She worked with kindergarteners, became a kindergarten teacher, and then she realized that this issue of poverty in and around our communities, and how much it impacts students, was really part of her life's work. Right now, she is the director of the center of excellence to prepare teachers of children of poverty at the Francis Marion University. Dr. Pawloski, Tammy, it's so good to have you with us. Thank you for joining.
Tammy: Thank you for having me.
Kevin: One of the reasons why this issue of the mental health of our children, the impact of poverty on education, is so important is the numbers are staggering. So, before we go too far into the solutions, what is the current mental health of our children in our schools?
Tammy: To be honest, I don't think we really know. I think we have some ideas, I think we have some educated guesses. But I don't think we know, and I don't think we'll know for a long time what the real impact of this national health crisis has been on our students. We know that before the pandemic, we had increases in teen depression, teen suicide, and not just teens, even younger students. We knew that the impacts of technology had created increased levels of stress, and a sense of fitting into society, less social interaction. So, if we had that before the pandemic, then I think it's certainly wise for us to anticipate that those impacts will certainly be exacerbated as a result of the health crisis that we face.
Kevin: You know, I've talked to a lot of people about that, a lot of folks in schools that I work with, and some people will say that it's the advances in technology, you know, young people being introduced to computer screens at an earlier age, we're always on, people don't allow their brains time to rest. I mean, are you able to suggest why there's such a stark increase in the things you alluded to, teen depression, suicide, more and more of our children on anxiety medication? I mean, what are some of the causes?
Tammy: As much as we appreciate technology, and as much as we have relied on it during the pandemic, we also need to think a lot about its impacts on the brain, and literally on the wiring of the brain. And we have the technology now that allows us to actually look inside brains and to see where brains are firing, where those electrical impulses are moving throughout the brain. And so, we're able to track a lot of the changes to the brain that are occurring in our students. When I think about technology and I think about the impacts, first of all, there's early exposure. We know that young brains are not prepared for just the way that technology is presented. One of the things that I share frequently is a chart that was actually developed by occupational therapists, physical therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists on the appropriate amount of technology use by age.
Kevin: Oh, wow.
Tammy: When I share that in an event, the response from the crowd is audible shock. For example, birth to two is zero exposure to any screens whatsoever, with one caveat, and that is it's okay to Skype with Grandma, that's okay, or to FaceTime with Grandma, but otherwise, no exposure. And if you think about who these people are who have developed this, again, occupational therapists, physical therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, those are the people who are dealing with the children that come to them later, and they attribute the problems that they're facing with that early exposure. So, just the sheer number of hours. But what also is combined with this is if you're utilizing technology, then you're not engaged in social interactions. You're not developing relationships, you're not developing language skills, you're not developing the ability to follow one's face and to look at the facial expressions and the affect of the person with whom you're engaging so that you can see how your words are being received by them.
So, there are just so many social impacts, but also the language impact. We look at, particularly in my work, which is with under-resourced children, if we look at the Hart and Risley study, for example, they identified that low-income children heard about 30 million fewer words by age three than did their more affluent peers. Thirty million words. Well, if you look at the raw data on that, that translates to a 50-point shift in IQ scores. So, we grow our brain through social interaction, and that serve and return of language. And that's not gonna happen when we put our children...we give them access to an iPad or a video game. So, that's the early influence.
Kevin: So, let me go back to the chart, because I have a four-year-old granddaughter, and you said zero to two, no interaction. Now, my daughter-in-law, my son, I mean, they're amazing parents. But I can honestly say that my four-year-old granddaughter knows how to operate and navigate around an iPad probably as well or better than me. What's that chart look like when you get to five or six? I know, just from personal experience, that most parents out there are exposing their children to more usage than what the experts would suggest.
Tammy: Well, birth to two, zero, then two to five is about 30 minutes to an hour. If you look deeply at this chart, and again, this is developed by folks who are working with children who come in with issues that need to be addressed or remediated or accelerated, whatever. But if you look at it, no child under the age of 12 should have ever held a handheld device, if you look at the chart.
Kevin: So, to level set, we know that the rewiring is different starting really as toddlers because of the over-usage, or the overexposure to some of the technology devices. But then, if you layer on top of that, the thing that has led to your great work, the trauma associated with poverty. How does that impact, particularly when there's a growing number of American school-aged children who live below the poverty line?
Tammy: In our center, we began by defining poverty using that financial threshold. Over time, we've revised the definition of poverty. And we now define it as any child who's living without a resource that could help that student be his or her best self. Now, financial poverty can permeate all of them. But what we've learned is that we need to cast a broader net, because there are a lot of students who are living without resources. They may have the financial security, but if they don't have a relationship or a role model, if they don't have the cognitive resources that they need, you know, so there are lots of resources that are involved. But if we think specifically about financial poverty, the first thing we have to think about is Maslow's hierarchy, and we have to think about what are those basic needs that have to be met first, and so, we can think about physiological needs of food and shelter. And then we move up to safety and love and belonging, self-esteem.
If those needs are not met, then we can be certain that cortisol levels are gonna go through the roof. But we can also know that that's gonna prevent us from ever getting to the point that we think about or care about meeting cognitive needs. And so, it has a big impact on the learning cycle, because students can't learn if basic needs are not being met. Lots of accommodations are needed. Not lowered expectations, but accommodations.
Kevin: So, what I really wanna know is what should school districts or schools be doing? Now, this is your sweet spot. This is the work you're doing. But what should they be doing to ensure that they're addressing the elephant in the room in a lot of classrooms? Those needs of children who suffer from the trauma of poverty, who, because of their living circumstances, they may not be getting all those needs met? What should school districts should be doing? And by the way, this is so important, Tammy, because you hear so many teachers talking about the fact they're called upon to do so much more, social worker, nurse, what have you, psychologists, but still there are things that schools and school districts can do to better prepare, better train their people to work with kids who suffer from that type of poverty.
Tammy: Wow, what a great question. And it really is the heart of the work that we do. In our center, we've identified 25 practices that we think are non-negotiable for under-resourced kids. And we say non-negotiable for under-resourced kids because kids who live in homes where there are ample resources, their parents might go out and find a tutor or find extra supports. But under-resourced kids, the school could be the last and only hope for providing those practices or strategies. So, what we do with this work is, and this is something that we sort of landed on by accident, is we were invited to go into a school and try to help them address an issue. They had scored an F on their ESEA waiver, and 86% free and reduced lunch student population. And when they did their gap analysis, they found that the difference between their higher-performing and lower-performing students, it wasn't race, it wasn't gender, it was socioeconomic status. So, what I love about that is that that is the hope that says we're not assigning a deficit approach to any group. But we know that if we make some accommodations for those resources, we can elevate success across all demographics.
Kevin: Yeah, I mean, you're so right. And by the way, they have this process now where all schools can be "trauma-informed schools." They go through the training, even how you engage kids who suffer from poverty. Like, you know, in a brick-and-mortar classroom, if a kid has been suffering from abuse at home, you can't raise your voice or yell at them, you know, "Johnny, you know, stop talking." There's ways, even in terms of your tone and tenor, that you engage these kids. Every school needs to be a trauma-informed school, but they also need to go about it the right way, and I know you're a big advocate for that.
Tammy: Yes. Decrease stress is our second strategy. So, once you build relationships with them, the next thing we've gotta do is we've got to make certain that we have either mitigated the stress, or we've given them strategies for managing their stress. I'm not an advocate of bubble-wrapping kids. We're not gonna be able to protect them from all their stressors, but we can teach them how to recognize it, and how to respond to it in a way that is safe and healthy, productive, and socially acceptable. So we gotta teach those kinds of things. I love that your schools have centered their work around this, because if you think about it, when you or I have high stress, we're not gonna be nearly as productive as we would be. It elevates our cortisol, which in fact reduces our ability to cognitively process. People who have higher stress levels actually have a reduction to their IQs. It is a short-term, but it's also a long-term impact. I love that you all are making this a focus.
Kevin: I had the benefit of speaking with the Biden education transition team, and one hopeful sign is that this administration seems to be really focused on this issue of poverty and trauma in schools, and the mental health of our children. You've spoken a lot about the science of learning. In the wake of the pandemic, in the wake of all the topsy turvy nature of the societal challenges we're having, how do you see the future of education, and the future of the science of learning, which is, I think, it encompasses all the things that you've been talking about.
Tammy: Yeah, that's really the foundation for all of our practices. And this is new information. And so, what we found is lots of teachers, they just haven't had the opportunity yet to learn some basics about how brains are developing, what brains need, and how they best respond. We feel like the work that we're doing, looking at, for example, build relationships or decrease stress, those are a couple of the strategies that we've just mentioned. Teachers have heard that, but what many of them have not heard is the why behind it. So, we give teachers this guidance. You gotta build relationships. But when the going gets tough, if teachers don't know why that's so important, it's very, very difficult to put into place those, you know, day-to-day actions.
But if you know the why, if you know the science, why relationships enhance learning, why decrease of stress enhances learning, why students have to have status, why that matters for their brain, if we understand the why on that, then we're more likely to prioritize those actions as teachers, which will then actually result in giving us more instructional time, because we'll clear away the barriers and all the peripheral kinds of things that happen when we don't have those things in place, giving us more instructional time that we can devote to what our love is, which is typically our content area, or the age of student that we're working with.
Kevin: Well, Tammy, this has been terrific. You know, I think the world of your work. You're doing work that's amazing and incredible, and needed for the country. Tammy Pawloski, thanks for joining us. There's a lot we can do to help America's children, and paying attention to their mental health is one of the foremost things we can do. So, thanks again for joining us.
Tammy: Thank you for having me. Thank you for your work.
Kevin: Thanks for joining "What I Want to Know." Be sure to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app. And don't forget to write a review, too. Explore other episodes, and dive into our discussions on the future of education. Join the conversation, and let me know what you want to know, using #WIWTK on social media. That's #WIWTK on social media. For more information on Stride, visit stridelearning.com. I'm your host, Kevin P. Chavous. Thank you for joining "What I Want to Know."
Esther Wojcicki is a leading American educator, journalist, and mother. She is famous for three things: teaching a high school class that changed the lives of thousands of kids, inspiring Silicon Valley legends like Steve Jobs, and raising three daughters (YouTube CEO, Founder of 23AndMe, College Professor) who have each become famously successful.
A leader in blended learning and the integration of technology into education, she is the founder of the Media Arts programs at Palo Alto High School. Wojcicki serves as vice chair of Creative Commons and was instrumental in the launch of the Google Teachers Academy. She blogs regularly for Huffington Post and is coauthor of Moonshots in Education.
Dr. Tammy Pawloski is a professor of education and the director of the Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty at Francis Marion University (FMU). She holds a PhD from the University of South Carolina (USC), and, prior to joining FMU, she served on the faculties of USC, Ventura College, and Pepperdine University.
She has led more than 1,500 professional learning events and is a noted expert because of her breadth of knowledge. However, what resonates most with teachers and school leaders is her ability to deliver an uncommon combination of actionable research and examples for practice that engage, empower, and challenge.
In addition to her work with under-resourced students, Tammy’s research interests include the science of learning; family, school, and community partnerships; and best practices in early childhood education.
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What I Want to Know
In this podcast, you will hear from leaders in education as we talk through learning solutions for homeschool, online school, education pathways, and topics tailored specifically to online students and parents.