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American RadioWorks Documentaries:

List by Date, Alphabetically, or by Category: 

Education

Chronological (reverse)


Second-Chance Diploma

Second-Chance Diploma September 2013
The General Educational Development test (GED) is a second chance for millions of school dropouts. Each year, more than 700,000 people take the GED test. People who pass it are supposed to posses a level of education and skills equivalent to those of a high school graduate. Most test-takers hope the GED will lead to a better job or more education. But critics say the GED encourages some students to drop out of school. And research shows the credential is of little value to most people who get one.


One Child at a Time

One Child at a Time August 2013
Learning with a personal tutor is one of the oldest and best ways to learn. Hiring a tutor for every student was never a realistic option. Now, new computer programs can customize education for each child. But adding computers to classrooms isn't likely to help unless teachers are willing to change their approach to teaching.


Keyboard College

Keyboard College September 2012
Digital technologies and the Internet are changing how many Americans go to college. From online learning to simulation programs to smart-machine mentors, the 21st-century student will be taught in fundamentally new ways. In this documentary, Stephen Smith asks whether these innovations can help more people get access to higher education and bring down the cost of college without sacrificing learning.


The Rise of Phoenix

The Rise of Phoenix September 2012
For-profit colleges have deep roots in American history, but until recently they were a tiny part of the higher education landscape. Now they are big players. More than one in 10 college students attends a for-profit. The rapid rise of these career-oriented schools has provoked heated debate, opening up new conversations about the costs, quality and purpose of higher education. In this documentary, correspondent Emily Hanford examines the history and influence of the University of Phoenix, one of the nation's largest colleges, and explores how Phoenix and other for-profits are shaping the future of education.


Grit, Luck and Money

Grit, Luck and Money August 2012
More people are going to college than ever before, but a lot of them aren't finishing. Low-income students, in particular, struggle to get to graduation. Only 9 percent complete a bachelor's degree by age 24. Why are so many students quitting, and what leads a few to beat the odds and make it through? In this documentary, American RadioWorks correspondent Emily Hanford introduces us to young people trying to break into the middle class, teachers trying to increase their chances and researchers investigating the nature of persistence.


Who Needs an English Major?

Who Needs an English Major? September 2011
The most popular college major in America these days is business. Some students think it doesn't pay to study philosophy or history. But advocates of liberal arts programs say their graduates are still among the most likely to become leaders, and that a healthy democracy depends on citizens with a broad and deep education.


Don

Don't Lecture Me September 2011
College students spend a lot of time listening to lectures. But research shows there are better ways to learn. And experts say students need to learn better because the 21st century economy demands more well-educated workers.


Some College, No Degree

Some College, No Degree August 2011
In an economy that increasingly demands workers with knowledge and skills, many college dropouts are being left behind.


Testing Teachers

Testing Teachers August 2010
Teachers matter. A lot. Studies show that students with the best teachers learn three times as much as students with the worst teachers. Researchers say the achievement gap between poor children and their higher-income peers could disappear if poor kids got better teachers.


The Great Textbook War

The Great Textbook War June 2010
What should children learn in school? It's a question that's stirred debate for decades, and in 1974 it led to violent protests in West Virginia. Schools were hit by dynamite, buses were riddled with bullets, and coal mines were shut down. The fight was over a new set of textbooks


Workplace U

Workplace U November 2009
We know that a good education can be the ticket to a good job. But for many Americans, conventional school isn't working. They don't make it through high school or don't learn enough to prepare them for good jobs. A new movement turns conventional wisdom on its head, and makes a job the ticket to an education. The idea is to turn workplaces into classrooms and marginal students into productive workers.


Rising By Degrees

Rising By Degrees November 2009
The United States is facing a dramatic demographic challenge: Young Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of the population, and they are the least likely to graduate from college. Experts say the future of the American economy is at stake, because higher education is essential in the 21st century economy. Rising by Degrees tells the story of Latino students working towards a college degree--and why it's so hard for them to get what they want.


Early Lessons

Early Lessons October 2009
The Perry Preschool Project is one of the most famous education experiments of the last 50 years. The study asked a question: Can preschool boost the IQ scores of poor African-American children and prevent them from failing in school? The surprising results are now challenging widely-held notions about what helps people succeed -- in school, and in life.


Put to the Test

Put to the Test September 2007
The effects of high-stakes testing on students, teachers, and schools.