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Mind the Gap – Episode 5 Featuring Starr Sackstein

Episode 5 of Mind the Gap: Making Education Work Across the Globe, a video series presented by John Catt Educational, begins with “On Our Minds,” a popular segment in which co-hosts Tom Sherrington and Emma Turner discuss pressing, relevant issues. In this episode, they give their thoughts on how we can get more people to enter the teaching profession, as well as how to keep teachers in the profession once they join.

Then, teacher, author and education reformer Starr Sackstein joins the show (7:43) for the “Mind Share” interview. She talks about the concept of “gradeless” teaching; what are the shortcomings of traditional grades and how must we change the way we assess student learning? A growing movement of teachers is digging into this question.

Starr, Tom and Emma also talk about the important differences between formative and summative assessment and the appropriate uses of each. Starr describes how she prefers to “live in formative assessment” because it’s all about feedback. She also explains her strategies for developing strong, transparent relationships with students and much more. 

The interview is followed by “The Debrief” (32:10), with Emma and Tom sharing their reflections on the interview with Starr. Among other takeaways, Emma discusses how some of Starr’s successful high school strategies have also worked well at the elementary level. 

Keep up with the conversation by subscribing on YouTube to get all Mind the Gap videos, and follow along on Twitter @teacherhead and @emma_turner75. Make sure to tweet your questions using hashtag #askTomandEmma to have them considered for the next mailbag. If you’d like to subscribe to the audio version of Mind the Gap, visit https://anchor.fm/mindthegap-edu and choose your preferred podcast app.

Mind the Gap is presented by John Catt Educational, a leading independent publisher that has supported teachers and school leaders with research-based, easy to use professional development publications since 1959. Learn more about books from Tom, Emma, and many other world-class authors at us.johncattbookshop.com (US) or johncattbookshop.com (International).

About the participants:

Starr Sackstein is an education reformer focusing on the student experience of learning. She spent many years as a high school English and journalism teacher, is a certified Master Journalism Educator, and is the author of several books, including Hacking Assessment: 10 Ways to Go Gradeless in a Traditional Grades School (Hack Learning) and Teaching Students to Self-Assess: How Do I Help Students Grow as Learners? (ASCD). She has also done a TEDxTalk on giving up grades and hopes to be a part of the change that education needs to see. Follow Starr on Twitter @mssackstein

Tom Sherrington is a co-host of Mind the Gap: Making Education Work Across the Globe. He has worked in schools as a teacher and leader for 30 years and is now a consultant specializing in teacher development and curriculum & assessment planning. Through his consultancy – teacherhead consulting – he is interested in working with educators to explore and implement contemporary educational ideas that deliver an excellent all-round education for young people. His books include Rosenshine’s Principles in Action and