Synopsis: Civics classes in many grade schools and high schools aren’t the same as they were 20 years ago, when teachers lectured on “how a bill becomes a law” to a roomful of bored students. These days, kids are more likely to discuss and debate some of the most pressing issues of the day. We talk to two educators about how some schools are teaching students how to debate correctly, how discussion of hot topics can foster understanding of diverse points of view, and the long-term benefits for students who engage in thoughtful, civil, debate.
Host: Gary Price. Guests: Diana E. Hess, Dean of the School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Paula McAvoy, Program Director for the Centers for Ethics & Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Both guests are co-authors of the book, The Political Classroom: Evidence and ethics in democratic education.
Synopsis: Economists are saying that American workers’ wages are stagnant and have been for quite a few years now despite working longer hours and being “on call” all the time through technology. That doesn’t mean that business is lagging though, since corporations, their CEOs and other high-level managers are doing quite well in that department. Our guest says that work and the way we compensate the rank-and-file workers needs to change to bring up wages and add benefits to make the work environment more equitable. We discuss why this inequality exists, look at some companies who are bucking that tide and find out ways that the system can change through education, government action and community empowerment
Host: Marty Peterson. Guest: Thomas A. Kochan, Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and author of the book, Shaping the Future of Work.
You’ve no doubt heard the line “everyone’s a critic!” Our guest is one and thinks we should all be critics of the films, fine art, literature and other pleasures we indulge in. He will talk about why it’s good to be a discerning viewer of the arts, how to be a better critic, how criticism makes us see things in a different light and how it helps us become better at choosing those things in life that bring us beauty and pleasure.
Host: Gary Price. Guest: A.O. Scott, movie critic for the New York Times, author of the book, Better Living Through Criticism: How to think about art, pleasure, beauty and truth
Synopsis: We all get stressed now and then, but did you ever consider that this “stress” is actually fear? Our guests discuss why that is, how it can sabotage our lives and work, how to handle fear when it comes along, and how to do a better job on the job of recognizing fear and learning to handle it.
Host: Marty Peterson. Guests: Robert Maurer, clinical psychologist, author of the book Mastering Fear: Harnessing emotion to achieve excellence in health, work and relationships; Edward G. Brown, business consultant, co-founder of the Cohen Brown Management Group, author of the book The Time Bandit Solution.
Synopsis: Character in a person is something we admire, and something we all would like to think that our kids grow up to achieve. But how do you teach them character? What are some of the virtues that go hand-in-hand with character and how can we instill them in our kids? We talk to two people who work with character education efforts to find out how two very different organizations are teaching kids teamwork, responsibility, fairness, friendship and other character traits in some very trying environments.
Host: Gary Price. Guests: Glenn Wilke, Executive Director of the Midtown Educational Foundation, Chicago; Cynthia Levinson, journalist, author of the book, Watch Out for Flying Kids! How two circuses, two countries and nine kids confront conflict and build community.
Synopsis: People tell us all the time to “have a good day,” but what does that really mean? How do you work on having a really good day? Our guest has researched the topic and has come up with some very interesting and helpful information from neuroscience and psychology that anyone can use to make their day more productive, less anxiety-provoking and just more pleasant.
Host: Marty Peterson. Guest: Caroline Webb, economist, management consultant, CEO of Sevenshift, author of the book, How to Have a Good Day: Harness the power of behavioral science to transform your working life.
Synopsis: The presidential election season is in full swing, and candidates are doing their best to make themselves attractive to the primary voters and to the general public for the November election. Our guest was in the thick of things during the last two election cycles and talks about how Barack Obama got elected to the highest office in the land. He also offers some insight into the president’s terms in office, the rambunctious candidates on the stump now, and the parties’ strategies in this campaign season.
Host: Gary Price. Guest: David Axelrod, former campaign strategist and senior White House advisor for President Barack Obama, and author of the book, Believer: My forty years in politics.