As COVID-19 shut down schools, education majors have lost out on observing teachers in their classrooms, an important part of their training. Ryan Cowden, a doctoral student in the Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies program, is trying to make up for that loss with interviews from social studies teachers across the country.
Cowden has been the host of School of Thought, a podcast for educators, since 2018, so the project is a perfect fit for him – and for students’ needs.
“Teaching is a tremendous profession that you can never completely master, and I was surprised at the level of authenticity these teachers brought to these interviews. They really opened up and talked shop and shared things that you don’t always hear about,” Cowden said. “As a teacher, you spend so much time in your own classroom that you don’t always know what your peers are doing. I’ve been good friends with some of these teachers for many years, and I was still surprised by some of the things they shared. And I wasn’t asking rote interview questions either. I was asking questions I wanted to know the answers to, and I was learning along with our students.”