Storytime during family night in Mekoryuk
Place-based education means learning about a student’s immediate environment and their cultural history and heritage, too. Some educators say this is an essential part to a student’s overall education, while others think that teaching culture doesn’t matter to succeeding in college and beyond. This time on KTD we speak with educators who hold opposing opinions on whether or not to include cultural curricula in the classroom.
IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Two Alaskan educators, Dr. Paul Ongtooguk and Lynda Prince, join host Shana Sheehy in the studio to talk about the philosophy behind the cultural education movement and to explain its origins. We’ll also hear from Dr. Ben Chavis, a school choice supporter who is critical of the idea that schools should teach culture.
• Dr. Ben Chavis is a Native American educator who took the helm of an underperforming, inner city school in Oakland, California and through his controversial teaching methods the American Indian Charter School became the top middle school in California. He is the author of Crazy Like a Fox: One Principal's Triumph in the Inner City.
• Dr. Paul Ongtooguk is an Education professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage and co-founder of Alaskool, an online source of Alaska Native history, language and culture. He previously joined KTD on Show 58: The Giving Show.
• Lynda Leal Prince grew up in Grayling, Alaska and holds a Master's degree in Education from Harvard University. She currently teaches World History and Alaska Studies at Bartlett High School in Anchorage.
An outdoor classroom in Nanwalek
- Alaska Native Culture in Real Classrooms - In rural Alaska, one of the big questions about education is how to engage kids, how to make the academics they learn in school seem relevant to their life outside of school. KTD contributor Jessica Cochran learned about two efforts – a private school in Kotzebue and the North Slope Borough school district based in Barrow – that are working to do that by integrating culture and academics.
Images via AASB.org
Autism is being diagnosed with more and more frequency; recent reports say 1 in 88 kids in the United States have it. So this time on Kids These Days! we’re talking about autism spectrum disorders. We’ll learn about screening, supports and resources for Alaska families with loved ones on the spectrum, and we'll find out what the future holds for those who are diagnosed with it.
IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio are two guests who work all over the state of Alaska helping families understand and live with autism.
• Kris Green works for the State of Alaska as the Autism and Parent Service Manager and Rural Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Outreach and Autism Screening Clinic Manager. Working in the Division of Public Health, she oversees autism program services and coordinates the statewide screening clinics, held in 10 rural Alaska hub locations. She is a member of the Governor’s Council Autism Ad Hoc Committee which focuses on implementing the 2006 State of Alaska Autism Plan, whose goal is to improve access to care for Alaska children and youth with autism and their families.
• Teresa Hirst is a certified Advanced Practice Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, specializing in new or follow-up patient assessments and evaluations of children with neurodevelopmental and autism conditions from birth to age 18 years. She works with the State of Alaska, traveling to regional hub communities to conduct assessments. She routinely provides patient, family, and staff education on pediatric neurodevelopmental disorders in communities throughout Alaska.
Alaska-specific resources -
National resources -
- Rising Rates and Changes to Autism Diagnosis - Dr. Shubu Ghosh is an Alaska-based child psychiatrist who is currently helping to redefine the diagnostic criteria for autism for the DSM-5. We asked him how the diagnosis will change when the new manual is released in 2013, and why the rates are going up now. He spoke with KTD producer Sarah Gonzales.
- Our Kindergarten Classmate with Autism - New contributor Tara Bicknell takes us into a kindergarten classroom in Haines where the kids are helping the adults learn about autism.
- Therapy Animals Helping Kids with Autism - Sometimes an animal can provide a kind of support that other people can’t. KTD contributor Jessica Cochran met some people working with children and dogs, and learned about the benefits for both humans and canines.
Car, boat or snowmachine, driving is a reponsibility, a privilege, a rite of passage, a danger and a freedom - at any age! This time on KTD we’re exploring all the facets of what it means to be young with a license to drive in Alaska. We’ll discuss safety issues, driver’s ed, licensing, preventing drunk driving and why modern teens aren’t getting their licenses as early as teens of yore (hint: studies stay it’s because of texting and social media).
IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joing host Shana Sheehy to discuss all things driving in Alaska are two guests.
Don McDermott is a retired educator who has been teaching driving to Alaskans of all ages for nearly 20 years. McDermott came north to be a professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage where he was the first Dean of the School of Education. He retired in 1988 and has since taught at the AARP - Alaska's driver safety program... he also taught his own son to drive.
Lieutenant Arthur "Tom" Dunn is the Deputy Commander for the Alaska Bureau of Highway Patrol, a division of the Alaska State Troopers. Lt. Dunn was a police officer in Whittier and Homer before working for the Troopers in Palmer, Kodiak, Sitka, Homer and Anchorage.
RESOURCES FROM THIS PROGRAM:
- When I Was Young: First Car - Beaters or brand new, every adult has a fond story about their first set of wheels.
- Drive or Surf? - Teens tell us if they’d rather use a car or a computer to connect with their friends.
- Forget Me Not Mission - A statewide anti-drunk driving effort tells how they are getting out the well-worn message in new ways. [Full story is posted here with links to book excerpt.]
- AK's New Red Stripe License Law - Wondered why you’re getting carded when you’re obviously old enough? It’s the controversial new “red stripe law” that aims to prevent alcohol sales to certain past offenders.
Technology is changing the way we do so many things - how we communicate, navigate and regulate our every day lives. So how is it changing the way that we educate? We're taking a look at that question, plus many caregivers wonder if learning from a screen is fundamentally different than learning from a good, old-fashioned book. So this time we're exploring what technological innovation means to the future of classroom learning.
IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio are two high-tech educators.
• Dr. Mark Bailey has been exploring the use of pedagogically powerful technological tools to support early childhood education for more than 25 years. After receiving his teaching license in the 70’s, Mark taught young children for most of a decade before completing a doctorate in educational psychology. Dr. Bailey has founded the Early Learning Community at Pacific University where he serves as Professor of Education and Director of the Child Learning and Development Center.
• Amanda Duvall is the K-12 Educational Technology teacher for the Anchorage School District where she supports teachers coaching them on integration of technology into the curriculum. She is also the Anchorage representative for the Alaska Society for Technology in Education. Duvall has been an educator for over 11 years in both Washington and Alaska.
RESOURCES FROM THIS PROGRAM:
Research & reports on kids, education & technology:
Online educational resources:
Alaska-specific technology & education resources:
- Video Gaming in Education - educators are realizing that the captivating, even addictive, power of gaming could translate well into engaging a student’s brain when learning math, reading and especially computer programming. KTD producer Sarah Gonzales learned more about the “gamification” of education.
- Technology Boosts Rural Learning Opportunities - In Alaska, there are more 140 public high schools with fewer than 20 students each. So how do a small number of teachers offer all the different classes a student needs to graduate? Some think the answer lies in offering more courses online. KTD contributor Jessica Cochran brings us the story.
Growing up means forming a solid sense of self, figuring out who you are and what you like in order to eventually become a fully realized adult. When a young person begins to identify as GLBT (gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender) it can be a difficult time in an already fragile time of life. So, what is “coming out” truly like for Alaska’s rural and urban youth and how can loved ones best support these kids as they struggle to accept themselves – and to be accepted by others?
IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Three guests join host Shana Sheehy to discuss this topic.
- Jackie Buckley is the president of Anchorage PFLAG (Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays). She is the Executive Director of an Alaska home health corporation and has volunteered for Identity and the GLBT community for over 28 years. She's worked in the Anchorage schools for 12 years, has raised all her own children in Anchorage, and now has 8 grandchildren, too.
- Katelyn Lanier-Moylan was raised in Alaska by her two moms and is currently a senior at West High School in Anchorage. She is the President of the Gay-Straight Alliance, serves as the Youth Representative on the board of Identity, and is the youth coordinator of the GLBT-friendly dance, Pride Prom.
- Verner Wilson III grew up in Dillingham on the rural shores of fish-rich Bristol Bay in Southwest Alaska. He loves fishing for wild salmon with his family as a commercial, sports and subsistence fishermen. He has a degree in Environmental Studies from Brown University and has worked for the World Wildlife Fund Arctic Field Program for nearly four years now on fisheries conservation issues.
RESOURCES FROM THIS PROGRAM:
Articles & Books:
- The Psychology of Coming Out - Jack Drescher, M.D. is a psychiatrist who has researched and written about the emotional and behavioral issues that often accompany both "being closeted" and "coming out". He spoke with KTD producer Sarah Gonzales from his office in New York.
- Dan Savage's Advice for Caregivers - Speaker, author and columnist Dan Savage spoke with KTD host Shana Sheehy to offer his advice for how caregivers, parents and trusted adults can support young GLBT youth.
- A Young Alaskan's Coming Out Story - For a long time UAA student Mya Dale refused to recognize something about herself - that she is gay. She told KTD contributor Jessica Cochran the story of how she finally came to understand and accept who she is.
- Dr. KTD: HPV Vaccinations - Regardless of a child's sexual orientation, there's one thing all parents of adolescents need to consider - the HPV vaccine. Our own Dr. KTD, Michelle Laufer, M.D. has some advice for caregivers.
Can you feel it, too? The days are getting lighter, the temps a little warmer and our cabin fever is starting to break. This time on KTD we’re exploring what effect the springtime change of season has on the bodies and the minds of people of all ages. We'll learn about getting outside with kids in any weather, find out about the sun/vitamin D connection and we'll ask, "Is there really a medical explanation behind spring fever?”
IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio to talk all things springtime in Alaska are:
- Jennifer Aist. She has been taking her four children into the backcountry since they were each newborns. She is passionate about exploring, discovering and connecting children with nature, and is the author of Babes in the Woods: Hiking, Camping and Boating with Babies and Young Children. She is also a lactation consultant and the director of parent education at The Children’s Hospital at Providence
- Matthew Benson, M.D. is one of two pediatric endocrinologists in Alaska. He is a provider with the Pediatric Subspecialty Clinic at The Children’s Hospital at Providence where he specializes in the treatment of pediatric hormone disorders, treating thyroid gland problems, growth disorders, early or delayed puberty, diabetes, obesity, low blood sugar and disorders associated with Vitamin D deficiency.
RESOURCES FROM THIS PROGRAM:
- Gardening with Kids - The daylight is back, stores are full of gardening supplies, and for many Alaskans, getting seeds started is one use for all that “spring fever” energy - and it's great fun for kids, too. KTD contributor Jessica Cochran explores gardening with children.
- Springtime Suicide Prevention - Is it true that spring really does see more suicide attempts? KTD producer Sarah Gonzales spoke with Kate Burkhart, the Executive Director of the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council, the Alaska Mental Health Board, and the Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse to learn more.
- Spring Skiing in Alaska - It can be hard to get out and about in an Alaska spring, waiting for the snow to melt. Our KTDontheGO blogger mom, Erin Kirkland, has a solution: just embrace it by hitting the slopes.
Youth leaders from the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities in Alaska join us to discuss the value of raising spiritual children. We'll learn about what kids who believe are doing for the community, and we'll explore why some children will reject their parents' religion while others find lasting value in the faith of their chidhood.
IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio:
- Afshan Mohammad joins us from the Islamic Community Center of Anchorage Alaska where she is also the principal of the Sunday Islamic School at Al-Noor Academy. Ms. Mohammad is the president of the Islamic Women’s Association of Alaska, and she teaches science at Eagle River High School.
- Rabbi Michael Oblath has almost 30 years experience serving as a Rabbi and is now at Anchorage’s Congregation Beth Shalom – a reform synagogue. Rabbi Oblath is versed in seven ancient languages, and is a frequent author and presenter on biblical history, geography and literature.
- Mark Zweifel is the District Youth Director for the Alaska Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God – a Christian congregation in Anchorage. He has nearly 20 years of youth and young-adult ministry experience. Pastor Zweifel & his wife Heidi recently moved to Alaska from Nevada where they ministered at the International Church of Las Vegas.
RESOURCES FROM THIS PROGRAM:
- Teach the Little Children - When is the right time to introduce God to kids? KTD contributor Jessica Cochran spoke with Pastor Julia Seymour of the Lutheran Church of Hope in Anchorage to learn her perspective.
- Parents & Teens' POVs on Family Religion - Many kids are first exposed to religion by their parents and religion can play a huge role in how parents choose to educate their kids. KTD contributor Aviva Hirsch spent time with two families recently – to learn how religion (or the lack thereof) looks from inside the home.
- Power of One: Miranda Udelhoven - One teenager from Soldotna is turning a recent, tragic loss in her life into something positive that she hopes can inspire other teens. Miranda credits her faith in God as the driving force behind her new effort, Teens Inspiring Perspective (T.I.P.).
Assessing students' yearly progress means a regular battery of standardized tests, a fact of life in most public schools. So how are Alaskan kids measuring up? We look at the history of this kind of testing, the current tests kids take, and we'll also learn about the new, proposed standards for Alaskan K-12 students that could be implemented this fall if they are adopted.
IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio are three guests who each have experience with the testing and assessment process in Alaska's public schools.
- Dana Stahl is a Training and Instructional Specialist for the Anchorage School District where she works with kindergarten through sixth grade classroom teachers in implementing best practices in math, reading and writing instruction. She has been in education for 28 years.
- Janet Valentour is the Assessment Administrator at the State Department of Education and Early Development. She joined us by phone from her office in Juneau.
- Laurel Vorachek is the Executive Director of Assessment and Evaluation for the Anchorage School District. This department is responsible for all state-mandated assessments and supports several district-level assessments, as well as data analysis and reporting.
RESOURCES FROM THIS PROGRAM:
- Adequate Yearly Progress & Safe Harbor Status - One of the things standardized tests, or standards based assessments, are used for is to see how individual schools are performing. Under the federal No Child Left behind Act, schools are designated as making Adequate Yearly Progress, or not, based on their students’ test scores. The state Department of Education and Early Development keeps tabs on all the schools in the state and figures out the consequences when schools aren’t making the cut.
KTD contributor Jessica Cochran explains how it works…..
- What are Common Core State Standards? - As of now, forty-five states have signed on to adopt the new, federal, grade-by-grade math and reading assessment called the Common Core State Standards; Alaska is one of five that have not. What is this initiative all about? Producer Sarah Gonzales spoke with Brookings Institution Senior Fellow, Tom Loveless, to learn more.
- Testing & the Independent School -Independent or private schools don't participate in the state-administered standardized tests, but they do have their own system of assessing students' progress. We spoke to Pacific Northern Academy in Anchorage to learn how they do things.
- SAT, ACT and Other Tests of Patience - KTD teen blogger, Patrick Walgren, has taken the SAT and the ACT, and wonders how much of a role do these tests really play in college acceptance?
More and more kids are being prescribed medications. From psychotropic prescriptions to pills for obesity-related diseases, the rate of meds given to kids is increasing at a higher rate than any other age group. What's going on? And for those kids currently on medication, we'll discuss management, side effects and dosages.
IN-STUDIO GUEST: Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio to explore all things pharmaceutical as they relate to children is:
- Dr. Shubu Ghosh. Brought up in northern California, he is a graduate of the adult and child psychiatric program from University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas; he also studied and worked in India with Mother Teresa before her passing. Dr. Ghosh is in private practice at Ghosh Psychiatric Services in Anchorage; he is currently participating in the field trials for the revision of DSM V. He is also a field instructor with the University of Alaska Anchorage and regularly leads informational clinics for caregivers.
RESOURCES FROM THIS PROGRAM:
- The Rising Rates of Pediatric Prescriptions - Nationwide, more kids are taking prescription medications to treat everything from anxiety to high blood pressure. KTD! contributor Jessica Cochran took a look at some of the national statistics.
- An Alternative to Medication - Although prescriptions written for children may be on the rise, there are many behavioral health providers who advocate for treatments that do not include medication. Family therapist Dr. Marilyn Wedge numbers among them. KTD! producer Sarah Gonzales spoke with her about her new book, Suffer the Children: The Case Against Labeling and Medicating and an Effective Alternative.
- Dr. KTD: A Spoonful of Sugar? - Michelle Laufer, M.D., is back to offer tips to caregivers for getting little ones to take their medicine.
They grow up so fast! That's why this time on KTD! we're learning how to make the most of those crucial, first three years of baby's life. We'll ask: where should very young children be developmentally at one year, two years and three years? How can caregivers help children to learn and grow every day? And where can caregivers find help and support if their children aren't meeting the recommended milestones?
IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joing host Shana Sheehy in the studio are two guests who both have a lot of experience with helping babies learn and grow in Alaska.
- Dr. Donna Galbreath has devoted her medical career to serving Alaska Native People. She worked in Fairbanks, Alaska for 15 years as a provider and medical director for a tribal organization; she currently works for Southcentral Foundation as the Medical Director of Quality Assurance. She serves as an elected member of her tribal board and also serves as the President of the Association of American Indian Physicians. Dr. Galbreath is also in the new film from Best Beginnings, Babies on Track.
- Erin Kinavey is the Program Manager for the Early Intervention Program at the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. She currently serves on the national board for Infant & Toddlers Coordinators Association. She earned a Masters in Education in special ed from UAA and began her career in early intervention working with children diagnosed with autism.
EARLY DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES:
- Statewide Early Learning Programs - Educators and early learning organizations all over Alaska are working to help babies and toddlers do their very best. Contributor Jessica Cochran reports on resources like the Infant Learning Program's "Learn the Signs of Healthy Child Development" campaign, Best Beginning's new film Babies on Track, and the Association for Alaska School Boards' work in the Lower Kuskokwim area.
- Supporting Families with Special Needs Children - When babies or toddlers aren't meeting the developmental milestones they can find professional assistance and peer support at the Stone Soup Group. Producer Sarah Gonzales speaks with the Positive Behavioral Support Program manager, Wendy Barrett.