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To kick off the new year, we have a special show for you. Today, Linda Darling-Hammond joins me to talk about her new co-authored book Empowered Educators: How high-performing systems shape teaching quality around the world

The book explores how several countries and jurisdictions have developed comprehensive teaching and learning systems that produce a range of positive outcomes, from student achievement to equity and from a professionalized teaching workforce to the integration of research and practice.

Linda Darling-Hammond is the president of the Learning Policy Institute and a Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University.

Citation: Darling-Hammond, Linda, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 102, podcast audio, February 5, 2018. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/lindadarlinghammond/

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Today we look at sexuality education. In some countries, scholars who advocate for a secular worldview have constructed a progressive sexuality education that embraces science at the exclusion of religion.

With me is Mary Lou Rasmussen. In her monograph, Progressive Sexuality Education: The Conceits of Secularism (Routledge, 2015), which was just released in paperback, Mary Lou carefully explores how progressive scholarship and practice might get in the way of meaningful conversations with students, teachers, and peers who think differently about the field of sexuality education.

Mary Lou Rasmussen is a professor at the School of Sociology at The Australian National University. She is co-editor, with Louisa Allen, of the Handbook of Sexuality Education which will be published in October.

Citation: Rasmussen, Mary Lou, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 87, podcast audio, September 18, 2017. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/rasmussen/

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Today we look at the globalization of curriculum markets with Professor Catherine Doherty. Catherine uses the example of the International Baccalaureate Diploma in Australia to think about the movement of global curriculum inside local markets.

Why do schools choose to include global curricula like the IB? And what impact do these new curricular offerings have on educational choice both locally and globally?

By looking at various schools across Australia, Catherine unpacks the social ecology of the IB, highlighting ideas about educational strategy and imagined motilities. She empirically demonstrates how the global-local binary is a historical artifact.

Catherine Doherty is a Professor of Pedagogy and Social Justice in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow.

Citation: Doherty, Catherine, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 73, podcast audio, May 15, 2017. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/catherinedoherty/

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Today we continue the mini-series on global learning metrics. Last week we heard from Eric Hanushek about the desirability of large scale international assessments such as PISA. He argued that cross-national tests offer ways for countries to see what is possible when it comes to student learning.

But what effect are large scale international assessments having on national governments? In my conversation today, I speak with Radhika Gorur about how PISA, and its embedded assumptions about education, are going a global.

In our conversation, Radhika unpacks what it means to “see like PISA.” She finds three major ways governments around the world have embraced PISA.

First, governments have assumed that the very purpose of education is to increase GDP, which is a cornerstone of PISA and the OECD. But of course education has many more values that are much harder to define.

Second governments have narrowed the field of vision of the meaning of education to be in line with what PISA has been able to test. In effect, we only talk about what we can actually measure on the test, missing so many other subjects and areas that are also important to education.

And the third issue she finds is that we now talk about an impersonal “Student” as represented by PISA. The many reports put out by the OECD talk about so-called “students”, but they are always abstracted and without color or context. Who is this so-called PISA “student” and why do states compare their young citizens to her?

Radhika Gorur is a Senior Lecturer at Deakin University, Australia, and a Director of the Laboratory for International Assessment Studies. She will speak at the inaugural CIES Symposium this November. The article discussed in this podcast can be found in the European Educational Research Journal.