Speaker: Dr. Julie Ann Washington

Episode 40: A Mistake Stick Sounds Better

Episode 40: A Mistake Stick Sounds Better

When Office Depot® sells a pencil on their website the description says, “Brand Basic Wood Pencils, #2 Medium Soft Lead, Pack Of 36”. Now take a look at Nick Offerman’s website and see how he sells a pencil. He’s the actor who famously brought the character of Ron Swanson, a colorful crank, to life in the sitcom Parks and Recreation. First of all, Offerman Wood Shop (OWS) calls it a Mistake Stick and the description says, “Keep an OWS pencil in your beard/bun at all times because you never know when you’ll need to jot down a cut list, bifurcate a compound angle, label your jerky or add a few inches to your scratching reach.” As you can see, language has the capacity to tantalize the curiosity, tease the appetite, tickle the funny bone, or simply transport you to an imaginary place. With a gift of enriched language and mature executive function skills, you can even sell snow to an Eskimo. On today’s podcast, Dr. Julie Ann Washington from Georgia State University returns to discuss challenges in raising and educating children from low socio-economic backgrounds whose disadvantages are compounded by chronic stress, minimal exposure, and a lack of resources. For these children, specific language impairment and impoverished language can impact the development of written language, general educational trajectory, and overall mastery of executive function.

Read More Read More

Episode 39: Meet Me at the Margins

Episode 39: Meet Me at the Margins

On April 11, 1734, a tiny notice appeared in the small corner of the Pennsylvania Gazette owned by Benjamin Franklin that read, “Ready money for old rags”. People poured in just as expected. Franklin, the entrepreneur extraordinaire, who also held a license to print paper currency, began to send these rags to the mill he owned to convert it into paper money; thus popularizing the notion, rags to riches. Since then, the American psyche has been steeped into the belief that everyone who has the will and the self-control to influence their life can rise above all odds; including poverty and socio-economic disparity.

On today’s podcast, Dr. Julie Washington from Georgia State University talks about the idea that not only that all learners are not created equal, but neither are their learning environments and many are detrimental to a child’s future. In a society that values autonomy, agency, and everything that says self-made, parents and educators are trying their best to reconcile with those who are simply flailing around. The brain’s Executive Function guides and redirects behaviors and attitudes towards goal-oriented actions and flailing around is a sign of the brain not doing too well. Dr. Washington invites us to dive deep into the complexities of educating the marginalized and the disadvantaged.

Read More Read More