Critical Teaching and Learning Forum Podcast

There is now a podcast associated with the Teaching and Learning Forum. It can be accessed via various streaming services. Here is the list of current episodes. Click on the title to access the episode.

Episode Nine: Health Literacy and Communicative Justice

This episode of the podcast features Maricel Santos, an adult educator, researcher and professor with extensive experience in the field of health literacy. During the episode, we discuss moving beyond decontextualized approaches to health literacy and towards education that is grounded in the lived experiences of patients. Maricel is particularly concerned with issues of communicative justice, and she centers her analysis on the interpretive burden that is put on some patients, particularly those from immigrant communities. This approach highlights the links between adult education, health literacy and social justice.

Episode Eight: Teaching the Troubles

The guests for this podcast are Saul Fussiner and David Senderoff, two high school teachers from New Haven, Connecticut. Saul and David have extensive experience with Facing History and Ourselves and the discussion focuses on how they refined their own approach to the material. A pivotal moment in their experience was when an African American student challenged them to move beyond units of study that all involved the oppression of Black people. In response, Saul and David were part of a team that developed a curriculum for teaching the Troubles in Northern Ireland as means of exploring issues of political violence and reconciliation. During the episode they talk about creating lesson plans, what they learned on a research trip to Northern Ireland and what student response has been.

Episode Seven: Teaching Palestine

In previous episodes of the podcast, I have had conversations with one or two people about their work. This episode is slightly different, as I am joined by four other teachers for a group discussion about teaching Palestine. Two of the teachers work in high schools, with one being an art teacher and the other being a language arts teacher. Another guest teaches social studies at the middle school level, and the last teaches at the college level. None of the participants claims to be an expert on Palestine or the Middle East, but we all have an interest in helping our students move beyond narratives that marginalize and silence Palestinian voices. Rather than providing clear answers, the conversation captures the work we are all doing to improve our own practice when it comes to teaching Palestine. We believe that there are many other teachers out there who are in the same position, and we hope that our conversation can contribute to the ongoing struggle. As a final note, several of the teachers in discussion requested to remain anonymous because their criticisms of the Israeli government have led to them getting threats. For their safety and job security, I am not sharing any personal information about the guests.

Resource Here:

Episode Six: The Politics of Everyday Literacy

The guests on this podcast are Michele Knobel and Colin Lankshear, literacy scholars who have long been at the forefront of New Literacy studies. Their work has been a key part of efforts to re-examine the nature of everyday literacy practices. They are also interested in the opportunities that new digital technologies present for re-thinking learning and teaching. In the conversation, they discuss the politics of everyday literacy practices, how literacy research has been depoliticized and the ways in which neoliberalism domesticates and narrows what is possible in classrooms, schools and communities.

Episode Five: Using Music To Create Critical Dialogues in the Classroom

The guest for this podcast is Danné Davis, Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Montclair State University. Danné works with pre-service elementary school teachers and much of her activity focuses on helping these future teachers recognize and be responsive to the diversity within their classrooms. A key interest of hers is using stories, poems and popular culture to start and frame critical dialogues. In the conversation, she discusses how she uses music to help her students make deeper connections to the topics they are discussing and to understand key aspects of the Black experience in the United States.

Episode Four: Comic Books and Critical Pedagogy

The guest on this episode of the podcast is Kevin Pyle, a comic artist and working teacher. He is the author of a number of books, including Bad for You, Take What You Can Carry and Blindspot. He has also helped create comics that focus on the issues of wage theft, migration and the prison industrial complex. His non-fiction graphic work has also appeared in the LA Times. In the conversation, he discusses how he connects political commitments to comic art, and what that looks like in the classroom. I encourage you to check out his work at

Episode Three: Immigrant Student Activists Fighting for Justice

The guest on this podcast is Giovana Castaneda, a youth leader at Make the Road New Jersey in Elizabeth, NJ and a student at Rutgers – Newark. Giovana has been an activist since she was 16 years old, focusing on immigrants’ rights and workers’ rights. She is currently involved in an effort to remove police from Elizabeth’s public schools. In the conversation, she discusses the criminalization of students, getting the receipts via Open Public Record Act (OPRA) requests and making unexpected connections.

Information about Make the Road New Jersey can be found here: 

Episode Two: Presence and Socioemotional Health in Correctional Education

The guest on this podcast is Bill Muth, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. Bill spent many years as an educator working in correctional institutions and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Hope House, a non-profit organization that helps families separated by prison to remain connected through literacy projects, video conferencing, summer camps and other activities. He is a founding co-editor of The Journal of Prison Education and Reentry and the author of the recent Fathers, Prisons, and Family Reentry: Presencing as a Framework and Method.

Episode One: Critical Pedagogy in the Suburbs

This episode features a discussion with Andy Beutel, a middle-school social studies teacher working in suburban New Jersey. Andy discusses the need for critical pedagogy in contexts where students’ experience of privilege limits their ability to empathize with communities they have little contact with. Andy shares samples lessons and explains his approach to helping students rethink their frames of reference when it comes to issues like immigration, Islamophobia and how social class impacts health outcomes. Samples of Andy’s writing on this topic can be found here and here.