DiscoverThe Cult of Pedagogy Podcast
The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast
Claim Ownership

The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast

Author: Jennifer Gonzalez

Subscribed: 15,709Played: 223,078


Teaching strategies, classroom management, education reform, educational technology -- if it has something to do with teaching, we're talking about it. Jennifer Gonzalez interviews educators, students, administrators and parents about the psychological and social dynamics of school, trade secrets, and other juicy things you'll never learn in a textbook. For more fantastic resources for teachers, visit
239 Episodes
Our classrooms have the potential to be spaces where we learn how to have conversations about challenging topics with respect, curiosity, and kindness. Contrary to the voices that say race is not an appropriate topic for school, in this episode we're saying just the opposite. My guests are Matthew Kay, author of the book, Not Light, But Fire: How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the Classroom, and Jennifer Orr, Kay's co-author of the follow-up book, We're Gonna Keep On Talking: How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the Elementary Classroom. I talked with Matt and Jen about the value of discussion as a teaching tool, the elements that are necessary for creating a healthy ecosystem for race conversations, some strategies for having these conversations in organic and authentic ways, and a message for teachers working in states that are hostile to conversations about race. Thanks to NoRedInk and The Modern Classrooms Project for sponsoring this episode. You can find links to both books and a full transcript of our conversation at
I have no new strategies or tools or books to share with you this week. Nothing new to implement. Just a simple call to action for administrators to start giving your teachers more specific, genuine positive feedback. They need it.  Thanks to NoRedInk and The Modern Classrooms Project for sponsoring this episode. You can read this podcast as a post at
Cooperative learning can be a powerful learning strategy, but only if it works well. In this episode Connie Hamilton, author of Hacking Group Work, returns to the podcast to share 17 small changes you can try that will make group work more effective in your classroom. Thanks to EVERFI and Verizon Innovative Learning HQ for sponsoring this episode. You can read a full transcript of this podcast at
At a time when student behaviors and attitudes seem more troubling than ever before, we may need to approach their behavior in a different way, too. In this episode, Alex Shevrin Venet returns to talk about unconditional positive regard, a philosophy that offers students care no matter what — they don't have to earn it, and nothing they do can make it go away. This approach can transform some of the most difficult student-teacher relationships, but it's not easy. Venet shows us how it works, why it works, and how teachers can get the support they need to navigate it.  Thanks to Listenwise and EVERFI for sponsoring this episode. Read the full transcript and find links to Alex's book, Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Education at
Giving students time for reflection on their learning is so good for them: It builds their metacognitive capacity, it teaches them to take agency for their own learning, and it helps them and YOU see more clearly what they have learned and what they need next. But when we have so much other stuff to do, reflection often gets shoved out of the way. In this episode, high school teacher Marcus Luther returns to share a simple, completely free system he developed for giving students regular time for self-reflection. It's a year-long document we're calling a Learning Story.   Thanks to Listenwise and EVERFI for sponsoring this episode. Read Marcus's full blog post about this strategies, view images, and grab a free Learning Story template at    
When it comes to teaching kids how to read, what is the big debate about? And what does research say we should be doing? In this episode, literacy expert Jen Serravallo and researcher Dr. Kelly Cartwright help us understand the different perspectives on effective reading instruction and what research says teachers and school leaders should be doing now to help kids learn to read. Thanks to EVERFI and Verizon Innovative Learning HQ for sponsoring this episode. You can read a full transcript of this podcast at
Students who have learned enough English to do well socially may still need scaffolding to thrive academically. In this episode, I talk with Tan Huynh and Beth Skelton, authors of the book Long-Term Success for Experienced Multilinguals, about the specific strategies teachers can use to help these learners reach their full potential across the curriculum.  Thanks to Grammar Gap Fillers and Giant Steps for sponsoring this episode. You can read a full transcript of this podcast at
Positive, accurate representations of Arab voices and contributions are largely missing from our classrooms. In this episode, four educators — Sawsan Jaber, Reem Fakhry, Fatma Elsamra, and Abeer Ramadan-Shinnawi — teach us how we can change that. This episode is sponsored by JumpStart. Read a full transcript of this episode and find a robust list of excellent resources for integrating Arab narratives into your curriculum at
Trauma-informed teaching has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, and my guest, Alex Shevrin Venet, is a wonderful guide to help us better understand how it works. Her book, Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Education, offers a holistic, nuanced exploration of what this work looks like in practice, and it does so with equity at the center. In this episode, we talk about what trauma-informed teaching looks like in practice, how some approaches to this work miss the mark, and how teachers can start applying some basic principles of good trauma-informed teaching right away.  Thanks to EVERFI and Giant Steps for sponsoring this episode. Read a summary of this interview and a full transcript at
Do you ever feel like you're just marching through your content, trying to get it done? Like your students are just regurgitating it back, but not really learning it? Would you love to design deeper learning experiences in your classroom, but you're just not sure how? This episode may have some answers for you. I talk with Sarah Fine, co-author of the book In Search of Deeper Learning, about the specific elements found in classrooms that offer richer, more engaging learning experiences for students, and how you can apply those elements to your own teaching. Thanks to EVERFI and Giant Steps for sponsoring this episode.  
The core activity of this after-school program is boxing, but it offers so much more to students. In this episode, I talk with Jamyle Cannon, executive director of The Bloc Chicago, about why this program has been so wildly successful at helping students achieve personal and academic success, and how other educators can follow the same model by building engaging programs around student interests in their communities. Thanks to EVERFI and Giant Steps for sponsoring this episode.
When we ask a broad question to a large group — students, an audience, attendees at a meeting — we often get nothing in response. Plenty of the people probably have something to say; they just haven't been asked the right question. ------------------- You can find full written versions of these tips at ------------------- Thanks to The Modern Classrooms Project for sponsoring this episode. -------------------
In too many classrooms, our students aren't really thinking. What they're doing instead is more like mimicking, and my guest Peter Liljedahl is determined to change that. In this episode, we'll learn about his Thinking Classroom approach to instruction, where students are up on their feet, actively and collaboratively problem-solving, in a format that has taken the math world (and beyond) by storm.  Thanks to Listenwise and Wipebook for sponsoring this episode.
Anticipatory sets — quick preludes to your lessons — are a creative way to get students interested in what's to come. They are not an absolute necessity, but if you can work them in, they make a lesson just a little more special. ------------------- You can find full written versions of these tips at ------------------- Thanks to The Modern Classrooms Project for sponsoring this episode. -------------------
To learn any concept well, students need to experience multiple, varied examples of that concept, and coming up with those examples can be a time-consuming task for teachers. ChatGPT can help you get it done in a fraction of the time. In this episode, Stanford's Chris Mah and Sarah Levine show us how it works. Thanks to Listenwise and Wipebook for sponsoring this episode.
Many teachers give out copies of their slides as a supplement to a lecture or presentation, but this practice leads to terrible slides and ultimately, ineffective teaching. In this EduTip I'll share a better alternative. ------------------- You can find full written versions of these tips at ------------------- Thanks to The Modern Classrooms Project for sponsoring this episode. -------------------
After years of listening to shallow, perfunctory student discussions, ELA teacher Jessica Cannata found a way to make those conversations more natural, more interesting, and more real. In this episode, Jessica explains how her Real Talk strategy works, and how you can use it in lots of other courses outside of the English classroom. Thanks to EVERFI and Parlay for sponsoring this episode. You can learn more from Jessica Cannata at EB Academics.  
In episode 178, we learned about an approach to school change called Street Data. I believed so strongly in this methodology that I asked the two authors of Street Data, Jamila Dugan and Shane Safir, if they would allow me to produce a video series documenting teachers in two schools as they worked their way through the Street Data process, so that other teachers could learn from it. In today's episode, I talk with Jamila and Shane about the project, and we hear from teachers Amanda Liebel and Araceli Leon about their experiences. The video series is now available at
The time students spend in your classroom may be the only opportunity they have all day to engage with other humans in any meaningful way. And it's such a shame to waste that by letting them stay in some sort of Matrix-like environment where they're only plugged into devices and rarely even look to the left or to the right. So take deliberate steps to help them get to know each other. ------------------- You can find full written versions of these tips at ------------------- Thanks to The Modern Classrooms Project for sponsoring this episode. -------------------
A messaging platform that translates messages into any language, a daily curation of current events, the one everyone's talking about that writes essays for you, and more: Here are six tools we think are worth a look this year. And while you're listening, you can grab a brand-new copy of the 2023 Teacher's Guide to Tech here. Thanks to JumpStart and Hapara for sponsoring this episode.
Comments (16)

Freida Bowlby

Students don’t need to be taught how to use a search engine or read a newspaper. They already know how to do those things. They also know how to use social media, so it's not as if they need to be told what a hashtag is or how to share content on Facebook. The problem is that many students don't understand the importance of developing their media literacy skills. They don't understand how important it is for them to develop these skills and the impact it will have on their future career prospects. They do not even know about and their value in offering required help in their academics. If you want your students to become highly employable, you have to teach them about media and news literacy.

Jul 19th

saa aad

grap distractors attention by asking them about the lesson, a question they can answer without being embarraced , they're back on track thank you

Nov 4th

Susanne Greenwood

thank you!

Jul 25th

Rick Costello

you lost me with this one. I had been listening to this podcast for nearly two years until you sided with the terrorists burning our cities and terrorizing Innocent people for the color of their skin or having political ideologies right of Lenin. Have a nice life.

Jun 19th


Absolute must listen for all teachers who want to hone their craft. Invaluable information. especially with the pandemic... you need this podcast!

May 31st

Leyre Pinero

w aww, qqw

Oct 14th

Brad Camroux

as a student teacher I found that what I wore could significantly impact my confidence in the classroom. Best advice? Dress professionally and enjoy the confidence boost.

Jul 4th

Lauren Taylor

I LOVED this podcast!!!! Really makes you think about how the classroom shouldn't be a teacher begging for a students participation and respect! I cant wait to try this box method of behavior management with my next class! THANK YOU!

May 8th

mechele newell

the sad part is that those teachers were not prepared to work with the kids and the needs that they had.

Mar 30th

Neha Goyal Gupta

just wow.. love you so much for spreading such great knowledge.. . i m sure the mysery of children in schools is going to change with ppl like you devoted to the cause

Nov 29th

Brad Camroux

Think-pair-share is indeed a useful method of student engagement. We use it often in my classes as I prepare to enter the classroom as a teacher. Seems silly at first, but when done well is quite helpful and you can learn a lot.

Oct 3rd

Carla Reissman

my first time listening to your podcast. great topic. I'm going to go out and buy the book.

Jun 5th

Ashley Prata

in love with your podcasts!!!

Jun 1st


This is a gold mine for a new teacher!! Thank you!!!

May 31st

Adam Stryker

As always, Jennifer Gonzalez never disappoints. She is The Nation's Staff Developer (my unofficial title for her). If only she could be Superintendent of the "United States School District" ... you know, if that we're a thing. 😁

Sep 24th
Reply (1)
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store