A podcast from CASDA Executive Director Michael Piccirillo, Ed.D, designed to elicit reactions and stimulate thinking about important topics in the field of education and offer support and professional development for area educators.
Stream It's Intentional podcasts on the following platforms, or play episodes directly from CASDA's website below:
Episode 15: Contemplating Reopening: Remediation, Accelerating Learning and Equitable Resource Allocation
In this episode of It's Intentional, Dr. Michael Piccirillo speaks with Jerome Steele, CASDA's Assistant Director for Research and Program Development, about multiple issues shaping a potential return to more in person instruction in the fall. They discuss how notions of "learning loss" popularized by media outlets may lead to the adoption of remedial instructional practices and the implementation of a narrow, colonized curriculum. They go on to discuss research supporting culturally responsive texts as a driver of student engagement and improved reading comprehension as one possible alternative to remedial instruction. Finally, they recognize the role of antiracist activism and organizing in securing full funding for state foundation aid and discuss how districts discuss can look to community-driven educational co-design to ensure that the resources are allocated equitably.
Episode 14: What Do We Mean When We Talk About Learning Loss?
In this episode of It's Intentional, Dr. Piccirillo drills down on recent discussions about "learning loss." He questions the assumptions behind the concept of learning loss and interrogates whose interest this discourse is serving. Mike also shares ongoing research that undermines the crisis framing around this narrative. Finally, he raises questions about how this perceived crisis will be weaponized to further entrench existing inequity.
Episode 13: Maslow or Bloom: It's About Relationships
What is the purpose of education? Is it to meet the physiological and safety needs of students, the cognitive learning needs of students or both? These are the central questions addressed in the latest episode of It's Intentional. Delving into and comparing Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Bloom's Taxonomy for Learning, Mike asserts regardless of which theoretical framework you lean towards, in the end it's all about relationships.
Episode 12: The Big Reset
In the first episode of It's Intentional for 2021, Mike suggests with all of the tumult occurring in and around students and educators lives, it might be a good time for "The Big Reset." Drawing on the work of Zaretta Hammond and Charlotte Danielson, Mike encourages listeners to take the time to focus on the foundation for positive learning environments, relationships.
Episode 11: Overcoming the Voice of Privilege
In this episode of It's Intentional, Mike takes us on a personal and professional journey through Otto Scharmer's Theory U. Along the way he identifies the inner voice of privilege as a roadblock to action and calls on educators to resist the voice and join in co-creating an antiracist, antisexist and equitable educational system.
Episode 10: Let's Leave Behind Old Structures
In this episode, Mike discusses structures of schooling that were not serving children prior to the pandemic and have been rendered obsolete in light of coronavirus's impact.
Episode 9: A Simple Message for Complex Times
In this episode, CASDA Executive Director Michael Piccirillo, Ed.D "gets real" about being grateful for what he has in his life and encourages listeners to find solace and peace in a simplified approach to life.
Episode 8: Innovative Thinking: The Path to Re-Imagined Schools
Necessity is often the mother of invention. In this episode of It's Intentional, Dr. Piccirillo explores how crises in early modern cities demanded a break from the status quo, fostering innovation and evolution. This reflection leads us to a fundamental question: "can we use the current crisis to build a more equitable and sustainable education system?"
Episode 7: Connecting to Your Leadership Roots
In this episode of It's Intentional, Mike talks about the need for a strong sense of purpose to lead effectively in times of crisis. He discusses how he studied superintendents' background influences their leadership style and shares a poignant story from his own childhood to illustrate the meaning of sacrifice, purpose and leadership.
Episode 6: How External and Internal Structures Contribute to Educator and Student Trauma
In this episode of It's Intentional, Dr. Michael Piccirillo discusses the pandemic's toll on student and educator mental health and social-emotional wellbeing. He states that while external structures such as state testing and budget cuts are adding significant pressure to the already unprecedented challenge of reopening during COVID-19. Mike argues that while these stressors are real, they are difficult for educators to influence or control and that focusing on internal structures that enable districts to more flexibly and equitably respond to these obstacles is perhaps a more effective focus. He concludes by returning to the theme of community empowerment, situating families and students as stakeholders whose expertise and perspective must be valued as educational institutions navigate the current moment.
Episode 5: Co-Designing Solutions in School Districts During and After Covid-19
In this return episode of It's Intentional, Mike discusses the need to approach the challenges of covid-19 through a co-design lens. He argues that current decision making structures tend to produce superficial, technical fixes to deep rooted, specific problems that must be addressed collaboratively. He provides an overview of the co-design process as outlined in the research of Dr. Ann Ishimaru and discusses how such a model could be applied to ensure that all educators, students and families are empowered to develop the equitable, sustainable policies.
Episode 4: Self-Regulated Learning: Empowering Student Academic and Personal Growth
In this episode Mike continues conversations centered on the theme of student empowerment. This podcast poses the question, what would happen if schools explicitly taught students how to set, monitor and adjust goals for academic and personal growth?
Episode 3: Parent/Family Empowerment: It's About Access
In this episode, Mike shares 2 stories about parent empowerment initiatives that he participated in during his career that sought to remove barriers to access for parents who had previously been excluded from school programming. He also shares relevant research and reflects on how gaps in access for parents are mirrored by opportunity gaps for students, emphasizing that if we truly aim to serve "all students," then we must include "all parents."
Episode 2: Student Empowerment: Why the Quandary for Schools
Mike asks why philosophically people are on board with student empowerment, but have a difficulty enacting it. Have schools become more like places of obedience and less like places fostering free expression? He also questions a past decision when he was a principal in which he coached a valedictorian to revise her graduation speech to limit possible backlash and criticism. At the time he convinced himself that he was supporting intellectual independence, but in retrospect may have just been reinforcing obedience by having her tailor her speech, so that it fit some unwritten standard about what graduation ceremonies are about.
Episode 1: Student Engagement or Empowerment?
In the first episode of It's Intentional, Mike addresses how schools can use student participation in activities outside the classroom to support connectedness in the classroom, and how positive, supportive and caring relationships are the key to student engagement.