AUDIO: This American Life -- Back to School

September 24, 2012

This broadcast of “This American Life” focused on kids and school reform, and the range of supports and skills children need to succeed in life.

Host Ira Glass talks about his experiences reporting on education and the unending question of how we can make schools better. He discusses the Chicago Teachers strike and an essay by writer Alex Kotlowitz that talks about how the strike raises questions about the severity of this challenge.
He also talks  with Paul Tough, author of the new book How Children Succeed, about the traditional ways we measure ability and intelligence in American schools. They talk about the focus on cognitive abilities, conventional "book smarts." They discuss the current emphasis on these kinds of skills in American education, and the emphasis standardized testing, and then turn our attention to a growing body of research that suggests we may be on the verge of a new approach to some of the biggest challenges facing American schools today.
They also explorethe question of how non-cognitive skills can be taught to older kids — who have gone much longer without learning things like self-control, conscientiousness and resilience.
Listen in the link below.