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As adults we take it for granted that we have the ability to choose. But for children, they don’t always have the awareness that they have choices available to them.  Yet having agency, i.e. making choices based on active engagement in decision making, plays a vital role in developing a child’s self esteem as well as enabling their learning.  In this episode, we hear from Natalia Kucirkova, Professor of Early Childhood Education and Development about the role of children as independent agents of action.  “It is really about making sure that...

Good school practices are the key to helping build better educational systems, says Renaud Comba, research manager at UNICEF, but detecting exemplary school practices is easier said than done: “For the first time we are paying attention to the already created, contextualized, cost effective local solutions that local stakeholders have created through practice and through understanding where they live and their context to really address global education challenges.” - Renaud  We also hear from three teachers trying to develop good creative practices in their daily work with children. First off...

Investing in children’s foundational educational skills is key to their learning and development, as these skills are the building blocks for other life skills and further education, says Professor Ricardo Sabates, a researcher dedicated to equipping out-of-school children in the global south with basic numeracy, reading and writing skills. “One of the challenges that we have is that when children are not able to reach these foundational skills, when the curriculum that the teachers are trying to teach is further advanced than the capabilities and understanding of concepts of...

We all remember that one teacher from school who had a long lasting positive impact on us. In this episode, we hear once more from a variety of educators around the world, each one sharing why they’re so passionate about preparing children for their future. First we hear from Nadia in New York:  “The long impact that teachers have is we do things that we are passionate about, from our heart we pour into the lives of children not knowing where that would lead and we will not often have...

Our world is evolving so quickly and the skills that students needed to thrive just a few years ago are fast becoming obsolete. So what 21st century core competencies do students need to learn to succeed in our modern world? In this episode we are joined by two inspiring teachers, Enzil and Samaya, who, despite working in very different places – The Bahamas and Nepal - and teaching very different subjects - drama and technology –  both prioritize strategies that develop 21st century skills. Our special guest today, framing the...

One key aspect of children’s lives and development which many of the teachers we have spoken to for this podcast have mentioned, regardless of who they’re teaching and where they are, is the relevance of parental and family engagement in children’s education.  Their observations mirror the findings of today’s guest Sharon Wolf, an applied developmental psychologist interested in how young children’s social environments - specifically their families and schools - shape their development. “Parents' involvement really can enhance the children’s academic outcomes. Not just how they engage in school, but...

Over the last 18 months teachers have had to find innovative ways to not only teach, but engage with students. For many, they’ve relied on technology to help them educate their students. But how do technology and play contribute to learning? In today’s episode, we explore the intersection between learning through play and technology. First we speak with Bo Stjerne Thomsen, Chair of Learning Through Play and the Vice-President of the Lego Foundation, about the increasing role technology has in learning through play.  “When we look at how technologies are...

Children need to develop reasoning skills in order to carry out problem solving in the real world, says Professor Lindsey Richland. But what are reasoning skills and why are they so important for children to learn, and what role can teachers play in helping develop them? Lindsey explains:  “When we are learning how to reason and how to use that information, teachers are able to use those resources in really important ways so [children] can be productive in lots of different kinds of long term career trajectories.” - Lindsey We also...

Play is essential for learning and development. Typically, we associate play-based learning with young children, but, says Bo Stjerne Thomsen, Chair of Learning Through Play and the Vice-President of the Lego Foundation, an international expert on play, learning and creativity, play is beneficial for all ages. “Play is inherently about engagement, about motivation to engage in things that are difficult, through different types of play, but there are these mindsets, these states of mind we are in and can be used all across activities and ages.” - Bo We are also...

In this special episode, Nina is joined firstly by Gemma Wirz, Editor in Chief of BOLD to discuss the show’s journey so far, and to pause and reflect once more on why it’s so important to listen to teachers’ voices: “I have always been fascinated by oral traditions and communication as a means of disseminating culture and education. I believe that teachers’ stories need to be shared. They deserve the power and intimacy of the voice.” - Nina Hear why Gemma joined the podcast, why she believes it’s so important to...