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Getting Smart Podcast

Aug 16, 2019

In today’s episode, Tom Vander Ark is speaking with Pamela Cantor, M.D., a leading expert on childhood development. Dr. Cantor has practiced child psychiatry for nearly two decades and originally studied the impact of trauma on childhood development at Cornell. After 9/11, New York City asked her to counsel children struggling in the aftermath. That effort became Turnaround for Children, a non-profit provider of tools and services supporting children that had experienced trauma, of which Dr. Cantor is the founder and Sr. Science Advisor. Additionally, Dr. Cantor has over seven million views on her videos about childhood development, which were developed with colleague Linda Darling-Hammond.

Listen in as Dr. Cantor talks to Tom about the impact of stress on children, childhood development, productive practices that unlock brain chemistry that can counter the toxic effects of stress, and how educators can help positively impact a child’s cognitive development. Dr. Cantor also speaks about Turnaround for Children and the impact they have on children; Building Blocks for Learning, Turnaround for Children’s framework; and her thoughts on a variety of topics from modeling regulation, maker space, and movement breaks to mindfulness, malleability, and mindset.

Key Takeaways:
[:14] About today’s episode!
[1:02] Tom welcomes Dr. Pamela Cantor to the podcast.
[1:15] Why did Dr. Cantor decide to go to Cornell to study trauma and childhood development?
[4:22] Dr. Cantor highlights some important things for educators to know about childhood development, toxic stress, and the developmental impact that education has on children.
[10:36] What drives a child’s cognitive development and how educators can help positively impact it.
[13:45] Dr. Cantor gives the origin story of Turnaround for Children.
[18:22] Dr. Cantor describes Turnaround for Children’s framework (in collaboration with K. Brooke Stafford-Brizard): Building Blocks for Learning.
[22:25] Dr. Cantor gives her take on what sorts of experiences and environments help produce agency in students.
[27:36] Lightning round! Dr. Cantor gives her thoughts and opinions on these subjects: malleability, mindset, modeling regulation, mindfulness, movement breaks, and maker space.
[36:48] If you visited Cantor Elementary School, what would you see?
[38:54] If Dr. Cantor visited Cantor High, what would she hope to see?
[40:48] What is Dr. Cantor excited about now? What is next for her at Turnaround for Children?
[43:17] Tom thanks Dr. Cantor for joining the Getting Smart podcast!

Mentioned in This Episode:
Cornell University Medical College
Turnaround for Children
Dr. Pamela Cantor
Linda Darling-Hammond
Gates Foundation
Building Blocks for Learning (Turnaround for Children in collaboration with K. Brooke Stafford-Brizard)
The Science of Learning and Development Initiative
Teach for All

To Learn More About Schools Incorporating Cantor’s Lessons, Check-Out:
Episode 179: “What 100 School Visits Taught Us This Year”

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