Episode #3: Dr. Samantha Hedges

In this episode, Peter interviews Dr. Samantha Hedges about her research and work in evidence utilization for decision making in education, her work with the Heterodox Academy’s HxK-12 Education Community, the application and problems of critical race theory in schools, and more. 

Samantha Hedges is a scholar of the politics of education, Heterodox Academy Writing Fellow, and co-moderator of Heterodox Academy’s HxK-12 Education Community. In addition, she works with Heterodox Academy to develop tools and resources for K-12 educators. Previously, she taught at the elementary level for Chicago Public Schools and worked as a public policy advocate for nonprofit organizations in Illinois. Her writing and research focus on local decision-making for education and evidence utilization in decision-making.

Episode 2: Chris McNutt of Human Restoration Project

In this episode Chris McNutt and Peter Hatala discuss Chris’s work as executive director of Human Restoration Project– an organization that supports schools and teachers in developing human-centric, equitable systems that will create better futures for all. Chris describes the origins and need for a project like HRP that seeks to humanize schools, the contours of the progressive thinking that guides their work, the resources they provide, and how teachers are using these resources in the classroom to help students find meaning and purpose in their work and lives. They consider: What does it mean to teach for purpose? To what extent can schools be sites for the development of deep meaning and purpose? And what might it look like for schools to place purpose at the center of programmatic and curricular decision-making. Find out more about Human Restoration Project at https://www.humanrestorationproject.org/

The state and future of Social Studies teacher preparation with Dr. John Shekitka

In this wide-ranging interview, John Shekitka and Peter Hatala discuss religious literacy in secondary schools; the state and future of teacher preparation programs, with an emphasis on social studies; civic reasoning and how to help students engage with diverse viewpoints; the future of schools- separating the hype from the reality; the challenges and opportunities for education presented by COVID; and what it might look like for secular schools to be places where deep meaning and purpose are explored. 

Dr. John Shekitka is an Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Manhattanville College. He teaches courses in secondary education methods as well as specific courses in social studies methods. He also serves as a professional development school liaison with Fox Lane Middle School in the Bedford Central School District. Before coming to Manhattanville, John served as an adjunct faculty member at Bard College, Dutchess Community College, Marist College, Mount Saint Mary College, Sacred Heart University, and Teachers College. Before his work at the college level, he was a school administrator and secondary social studies teacher. He earned his PhD in social studies education from Teachers College in February 2020.