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Critical Window Podcast

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Critical Window is the Alliance for Excellent Education’s podcast on how research from the science of adolescent learning can inform middle and high school design and the practice of school leaders. It explores the rapid changes happening in the body and the brain during adolescence and what these changes mean for educators, policymakers, and parents.

Listen to Critical Window:

The Impact of Trauma on Student Learning


This week, Michael Lamb, executive director of the Washington, DC office of Turnaround for Children, dives into how students experience trauma, the impact it has on mental health and learning, and what educators can do to create an environment that effectively supports students affected by trauma.

When Students Trust Their Teachers


How do students look to teachers and school leaders for support? What can a positive relationship between students and teacher do for students’ motivation? This week, Dr. Kathryn Wentzel walks us through the process of building positive student-teacher relationships and how it affects student engagement and learning.

Navigating Student Activism in an Era of Parkland


How can teachers and school administrators navigate the waters of student activism? This week, our guest, Dr. Ben Kirshner, dives into what student activism is, its role in student development, and the challenges educators can experience when faced with student activism.

The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain

Did you know that adolescence is the second most active time of neurodevelopment in a human’s life? In this meeting of the minds between Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, cognitive neuroscientist and author of Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain, and Alliance for Excellent Education President Bob Wise, learn about the workings of the teenage mind and what this means for educators and school leaders.

Subscribe to Critical Window on Apple Music, Stitcher or wherever you find podcasts.

Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.