APM Reports: Focus on Education

Series produced by American Public Media

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From preschool to the post-secondary years, this series of documentaries explores the question, "What kinds of education are needed for people and communities to thrive in the 21st century?"

From preschool to the post-secondary years, this series of hour-long documentaries explores the question, "What kinds of education are needed for people and communities to thrive in the 21st century?" Stephen Smith and Emily Hanford pursue meaning behind research in how we learn and teach, and what's being done across the country to strengthen our systems of education.


27 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Scientific research has shown how children learn to read and how they should be taught. But many educators don't know the science and, in some case...

Bought by Interlochen Public Radio, KOSU, WMUU-LP, WRST-FM Oshkosh, WAER and more


  • Added: Sep 24, 2018
  • Length: 59:59
  • Purchases: 6
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You might think apprenticeships are a relic from an earlier era, but a growing number of Americans are using them as a way into the middle class. I...

Bought by WOSU, WMUU-LP, WLPR, WAER, WUFT and more


  • Added: Sep 24, 2018
  • Length: 59:59
  • Purchases: 6
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At 19, Mario Martinez felt fortunate to have escaped his rough neighborhood and enrolled in a community college. But the odds that he would earn hi...

Bought by WMUU-LP, WLPR, WUFT, KMXT, and WAER


  • Added: Sep 24, 2018
  • Length: 59:59
  • Purchases: 5
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Colleges have long offered a pathway to success for just about anyone. But new research shows that with the country growing ever more economically ...

Bought by WMUU-LP, WLPR, WAER, and KMXT


  • Added: Sep 24, 2018
  • Length: 59:57
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Kindergartners in an Ohio classroom learning letters. One in five American kids struggles to read, and many of them have dyslexia. But public schools are failing to identify or treat dyslexia, even though there are proven ways to help kids with dyslexia l, Credit: Emily Hanford
(9/11/17) Public schools are denying children with dyslexia proper treatment and often failing to identify them in the first place.

Bought by WMUU-LP, KUER, KCBX, WOSU, KOSU and more


  • Added: Sep 13, 2017
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: Frank Campbell was a teenager when he was sold to keep Georgetown University afloat. He was one of some 272 enslaved people sold by Jesuits in Maryland to plantations in Louisiana., Credit: Ellender Memorial Library, Nicholls State University
(9/4/2017) As more schools begin to confront their participation in slavery, they also consider how to make amends.

Bought by WMUU-LP, WNCU, WUFT, KOSU, KUER and more


  • Added: Sep 05, 2017
  • Length: 59:00
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: Teacher Christopher McFadden is a member of The Fellowship, a group in Philadelphia trying to recruit and retain black male teachers. Only 2 percent of teachers in American public schools are black men., Credit: Emily Hanford
(8/28/2017) There may be nothing more important in the educational life of a child than having effective teachers. But the United States is struggl...

Bought by WMUU-LP, KUER, Georgia Public Broadcasting, KOSU, WRST-FM Oshkosh and more


  • Added: Aug 28, 2017
  • Length: 52:58
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: A student at the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School in New York conquers a high ropes course., Credit: Stephen Smith
In the 1940s a British headmaster named Kurt Hahn set up a wilderness school called Outward Bound to teach young men the skills they needed to surv...

Bought by WMUU-LP, XRAY.fm, WITF, Vermont Public Radio, WGBH Radio Boston and more


  • Added: Sep 10, 2015
  • Length: 59:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: A student hangs a flag outside the veteran’s center at Pasadena City College., Credit: Stephen Smith
The GI Bill of 1944 revolutionized the lives of millions of young veterans, America’s institutions of higher education, and American society at lar...

Bought by WMUU-LP, KUER, WHRV, KAZU, KSFR and more


  • Added: Sep 10, 2015
  • Length: 59:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Teachers in Chicago doing "lesson study," a teacher improvement practice borrowed from Japan., Credit: Emily Hanford
This documentary what it would take to improve American teaching on a wide scale. We meet researchers who are trying to understand what makes teach...

Bought by WMUU-LP, Prairie Public, and WCAI / WNAN


  • Added: Sep 10, 2015
  • Length: 58:59
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Students at Howard University graduation, class of 2015, Credit: Emily Hanford
Graduates of historically black colleges and universities helped launch the civil rights movement and built the black middle class. But after deseg...

Bought by WMUU-LP, WUFT, Georgia Public Broadcasting, WESM 91.3 FM, and WCAI / WNAN


  • Added: Sep 10, 2015
  • Length: 59:00
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Students in a Chinese immersion class in Utah., Credit: Photo by Stephen Smith
Schools across the country are trying new ways to teach based on brain science. Teachers say current techniques are failing, but new approaches can...

Bought by WMUU-LP, WHRV, KUNM, WCAI / WNAN, KPIP-LP and more


  • Added: Aug 21, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: A student learns welding at a vocational high school in Massachusetts., Credit: Photo by Emily Hanford
Vocational education used to prepare some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Now advocates say career and tec...

Bought by WMUU-LP, WHRV, KUHF, 90.5 WESA, KPIP-LP and more


  • Added: Sep 11, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 13
Caption:  Students in Kentucky taking a Common Core math test, Credit: Photo by Emily Hanford
New Common Core education standards are surrounded by controversy. Most teachers actually like the Common Core, but they’re worried about all the s...

Bought by WESM 91.3 FM, WNIJ, KPIP-LP, Capital Public Radio, WYSO and more


  • Added: Aug 28, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 11
Caption:  A graduate and her parents celebrate first-generation college students at Amherst College., Credit: Photo by Suzanne Pekow
Today's college students are more likely to be older, working class, and ethnically diverse than in the past. Colleges must figure out how to serve...

Bought by WMUU-LP, KQED, WESM 91.3 FM, 90.5 WESA, KPIP-LP and more


  • Added: Sep 08, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 16
Caption: Studying for the GED at an adult education school in Washington, D.C., Credit: Emily Hanford
Millions of high school dropouts hope their ticket to a better job is getting a GED. But critics say passing a test is not the same as getting a hi...

Bought by WMUU-LP, C89.5 - KNHC Seattle, KPIP-LP, WITF, 90.5 WSNC and more


  • Added: Sep 06, 2013
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: Working a math problem at Mooresville Middle School in North Carolina, where each student gets a laptop., Credit: Stephen Smith
Learning with a personal tutor is one of the best ways to learn. But hiring a tutor for every student was never a realistic option, until now. Can ...

Bought by WMUU-LP, KPIP-LP, KMXT, KOSU, WTIP and more


  • Added: Sep 03, 2013
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Gary Hotsfall, a student at Western Governor’s University Washington. WGU is a network of nonprofit online universities., Credit: Stephen Smith
Digital technologies are changing how many Americans go to college - from online courses to robo-tutors. Can these innovations make college cheaper...

Bought by WUFT, KZYX, KMXT, and KOSU


  • Added: Nov 14, 2012
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption:  YES Prep students at an informational session at the University of Oklahoma. YES Prep is a charter school network that serves a low-income population in Houston, Tex. and focuses on getting all of its students accepted into 4-year colleges. , Credit: YES Prep Public Schools
Why are so many low-income students quitting college, and what leads a few to beat the odds and make it through? (8/30/2012)

Bought by WMUU-LP, KPIP-LP, KERA, and New Hampshire Public Radio


  • Added: Nov 14, 2012
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: The campus of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., founded in 1874. , Credit: Steve Woit, courtesy of Macalester College.
The most popular college major in America these days is business. Does it pay to study liberal arts? (9/8/2011)

Bought by WMUU-LP, WHRV, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, WTIP, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio and more


  • Added: Sep 08, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 6