pedagogo prologue season 4

Pedagogo Season 4 Prologue

The events of the past two years have underlined the importance of community. Presented with the challenges of social isolation, we sought digital spaces to connect, communicate, collaborate, and drive social change. Pedagogo Season 4 will bring you insightful conversations with higher ed leaders, DEI champions, and social activists, as well as non-profit and industry leaders, as they share diverse ideas and perspectives that center on the theme of “Community and Connections for Equity and Success.” Join Dr. Divya Bheda as she begins this season’s exploration of community building, its potential to promote equity, inclusion, and access in education and assessment, and how it can help us lead the next generation of global citizens.

Transcript:

Announcer:

Pedagogo. The podcast for anyone and everyone in higher education.

Today’s episode is a sneak peek of what’s in store for Pedagogo Season 4. Our all-new season will keep you current with insights from education and assessment leaders on topics that relate to “Community and Connections for Equity and Success.”

Pedagogo. Brought to you by ExamSoft, the digital assessment solution that gives you actionable data for improved learning outcomes. When assessment matters, ExamSoft has you covered.

Divya:

Hello, dear listeners, welcome to season four of Pedagogo. This season, our theme is community and connections for equity and success. Now, you may be wondering why community, how does that factor into education or assessment? And I would offer that we all need community for various reasons now more than ever. We need to actively engage in building and sustaining community for our mental and emotional health and wellbeing, as well as for the future of education and the goals we have for the next generation of global citizens, colleagues and our world at large.

Divya:

So back to why we need community. We need community to help us accountable. We need community to help us feel like we belong. We need community to learn. We need community to be in relationships and in spaces where we can grow as human beings. So we landed on this theme of community and connections in some way because of COVID and our emergence from that right now. Over the last two years, we have faced isolation in its different forms from not being able to see loved ones in the hospital to not having someone care for us when we ourselves are sick or our children or our older family members are sick. We have faced isolation from friends, from family, through social distancing, through all of it.

Divya:

So we know really what it feels like to be alone. And yet we have adapted and pivoted to deal with that and still show that we care for each other. Despite feeling this isolation, we have used technology to work and be productive and be efficient, right? We have come together. Research actually says our efficiency and productivity has gone up. We’ve used Google Docs and Teams, and we work pretty well remotely and virtually. We have collaborated. We have also consciously or unconsciously found ways to connect and build relationships and stay in touch and celebrate each other. So whether it’s online graduations or birthday parties, whether it’s games that we play, whether it’s polls that we start our classes with where we check in with our students saying how they’re feeling or whether it’s the meetings that we run where we start off with how each of us are doing, right?

Divya:

We have found ways to stay in touch, to stay connected. The last year has been challenging in so many personal and professional ways. And if you think about it, it is community that is helping us survive given how many of us have relied on each other to keep us going, right? You can think, as I’m speaking, you can think about those instances where you had to reach out to someone else to keep you going to find that support. So research is indicating that the stress levels right now are actually peaking. So what we thought was the 2020 year of stress is actually much, much more right now. And so given these stress levels that people are experiencing, it becomes really important for us as educators to not burn out, for us as educators to help our students understand the importance of relationships, of staying connected, of proactively ensuring mental health.

Divya:

How do we help our students learn how to build authentic relationships with each other? How do we do that as well to move work forward and to engage in activism or engage in change or to just collaborate on some innovation or project that we want to achieve together? All of these reasons are why we decided to tackle community in this season. Community and connections becomes really important. In all my leadership trainings, in all the strategic planning sessions that I facilitate or capacity building work that I do, in consulting and professional development and training work around assessment, curriculum building or JEDI work, which is justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, which also includes access and belonging, community is really essential.

Divya:

What I often hear from people during this work that I lead is tell us what to do, Divya. Can you just tell us what to do and we’ll do it. Tell us how to change, tell us how to grow so that we can advance student success so that we can be better so that we can make a difference. So when we think about the educational work that we are doing right now and how much we are starting to pay attention to equity, diversity, inclusion, access and belonging, basically social justice and how we are weaving that into curriculum building efforts, into assessment efforts, into our very teaching and learning practice, as well as our policies and procedures and processes and how we are building our educational or reframing our educational system to be more equitable and more student oriented, building community is a foundational cornerstone. I would call it an anchor of doing that work.

Divya:

A lot of times when I do strategic planning work or facilitate leadership trainings or capacity building around any of these topics related to assessment and curriculum building and teaching and learning, folks will often ask me saying, “Divya, just tell us what we need to change. Can you just what to do exactly, what we need to do and how we can change things and make the world better for our students and our colleagues and how we can embody the principles of social justice better?” And my go to is always community, because the first step of learning, where all of us have to engage in the learning around what are some social justice topics and what is social justice and what does it mean to have privilege or power and what is it like to experience oppression.

Divya:

There is also the fact that we often cannot engage in change alone, whether it’s ourselves or whether it is changing our institution or our program or impacting the spaces that we are in for the better. When you think about weight loss apps or any kind of lifestyle change programs, you can see that they have now centrally added a community component to it if they didn’t already have that to it. So community, having community helps us stay accountable, it helps us grow, it helps us learn, because learning is stymied when it is an individual effort. It thrives when it’s a group effort, when it’s a collaborative effort. It helps you sustain the knowledge and sustain and practice the principles when you’re able to do it as part of a community.

Divya:

To sum that up, finding community that helps you move forward, learn and grow, but also holds you accountable so that when you think about education and assessment and equity, having community helps you move forward, learn and grow, but it also holds you accountable so that when you think about curriculum design, when you think about education, when you think about technology use, when you think about teaching and learning, data analysis, research or student success, you are thinking and you’re trying to weave in equity and all of these aspects of education, you’re able to find the community that you need that will help you grow, help you thrive and help you make that difference.

Divya:

It is important to find people who can challenge you and support you, who are your psychological safety spaces, as well as who can help you grow and move forward and be a better human being and be a better educator. We’re all trying to make a difference. We’re trying to advance equity, we’re trying to engage in collective action. And the world seems to be in a very, very interesting and challenging social political time right now, yet we are in isolating context often and so situations where many times, personally, we don’t know who to reach out to or what to do. And so we need that community to normalize our experiences. We need that community to be able to reach out and form alliances to get that support that we need or get ideas or problem solve the challenges we face, hence the season of community and connections for equity and success. [8:44]

Divya:

So folks, we have a great lineup for you, an amazing lineup of guests with some awesome stories and journeys that they will share that will take you through what you can do to find or build community in your own context. We have leaders from traditional brick and mortar institutions, we have DEI champions from online institutions and other spaces who can speak to what is community building in online education. We have leaders who collectively come together and have started educational groups and communities on social media that now have over 40,000 members in it. We have guests who are elected leaders from education-specific and assessment-specific professional bodies. We bring you educational activists and experts who talk to us about how to build community in mindful ways. We have nonprofit and industry leaders as well, who share what it is like to have higher education serve local communities and what community building within organizations, be it educational institutions or beyond what that should look like.

Divya:

So we talked to a, a diverse group of folks about community in educational practice and in student learning outcomes. What does it mean to teach students about teamwork, about civic engagement, about working with each other and building relationships, about democracy, about global citizenship and learning, about community building. So what does all of this look like? We have all this and more as our conversations for this season.

Divya:

To sum it up, this season, we are going to be addressing the what, why and how of community building and collective action. We’re going to share stories from various spaces in higher education, from various perspectives in higher education that that speak to the importance of community and collective action, as well as collaboration, even as we touch on the limitations of the same. We’re going to talk about all of it. And hopefully, what it will leave you with listeners is to get you thinking. And hopefully, what it will offer you as our dear listeners, are some insights on what you can do, on how you can engage in spaces and how you can be different. Hopefully, it will get you thinking about how you can be intentional about building community in your spaces, the little and big things that you can do to change how people experience the space that you create or the spaces that you all find yourselves in. Hopefully, it will give you tools to build your community as well as to find community where you feel like an outsider.

Divya:

I hope that these conversations will also get you to think creatively about how to help our students build community and realize the importance of interdependence, the importance of collective action, the importance of relationship building, especially in a day and age that we are right now. So I hope you tune in to every single episode because community can save a life, community can make a difference. We are all in this space as educators, where we need support, we need each other. We can’t do it alone. And it takes us and our students together to reach the success that we all want to reach for a better world, for a better educational journey and for better outcomes. So I hope you enjoy the season of Pedagogo, and I hope you go forward and build your own communities and collectives and connections for success and equity. Stay tuned folks, season four, here it comes.

Announcer:

Pedagogo, brought to you by ExamSoft, the digital assessment solution that gives you actionable data for improved learning outcomes. When assessment matters, ExamSoft has you covered.

Announcer:

This podcast was produced by Divya Bheda and the ExamSoft team. Audio engineering and editing by Adam Karsten and the A2K Productions crew. This podcast is intended as a public service for entertainment and educational purposes only and is not a legal interpretation nor statement of ExamSoft policy, products or services. The views and opinions expressed by the hosts or guests of this show are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of ExamSoft or any of its officials, nor does any appearance on this program imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent.

Announcer:

Additionally, reference to any specific product, service or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by ExamSoft. This podcast is the property of ExamSoft Worldwide LLC, and it’s protected under US and international copyright and trademark laws. No other use, including without limitation, reproduction, retransmission or editing of this podcast may be made without the prior written permission of ExamSoft.

Published: May 10, 2022

Related Resources

Pedagogo_S3-E8_Speakers_Feature_Refresh
Podcast

S3E8: Bringing the Big Ideas Back Home

In this episode, Dr. Divya Bheda recaps the highlights of this season’s seven episodes, touching on common themes. Dr. Bheda shares her own reflections, along with suggested next steps so that you can bring these big ...

Pedagogo_S3-E1_Speakers_Feature_Refresh
Podcast

Pedagogo S3E1: Effectively Managing Change

With the challenges posed by COVID-19, the many socio-economic issues that are impacting education, and the advent of technology as an essential element of education, managing change has become increasingly important....

Pedagogo_S3-E7_Speakers_Feature_Refresh
Podcast

Pedagogo S3E7: Living Our Values and Bringing Our Humanity to Our Work

Dr. Bheda talks with Libby Smith, an organizational healing facilitator and program director of M.S. Applied Psychology at University of Wisconsin-Stout, about mindset changes and daily actions that we can adopt to ta...