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“Is This Working?” podcast

(Aired October 17, 2014)

Description: This podcast examines the way that teachers cope with misbehaving students, despite having limited training and general lack of agreement on “best practices” for disciplining children. The podcast explores this issue through a prologue and three parts. Act I explores the case of JJ, a four-year-old child who received multiple school suspensions, and his three-year-old brother who had also been suspended from preschool. It connects this case to broader discussions about racially disproportionate exclusionary discipline and the school-to-prison pipeline. Act II investigates the experiences of Rousseau Mieze, who attended one of the first strict, rigorous “No Excuses” style charter schools. It then traces his experience as a teacher wrestling with how to implement school discipline. Act III examines a public school in New York City that sought to avoid traditional forms of punishment (e.g., detention, suspension, expulsion) in favor of Restorative Justice. This podcast raises issues of racial inequality in school discipline and how teachers ought to discipline students.

Topics/Themes: School discipline