The MindShift Podcast Returns Just in Time for the New School Year

MindShift Podcast hosts Katrina Schwartz and Ki Sung (l to r). (Kirsten Voss)


The Mindshift Podcast is back with a new season of stories that explore innovation in education. The four-year-old podcast highlights how educators are addressing some of the trickiest problems in education with heart and creativity. Hosts Ki Sung and Katrina Schwartz, who also produce KQED’s wildly popular MindShift blog asked their audience what matters most to them and created an entertaining and powerful six-episode podcast season all about bringing joy back into learning and teaching.

Listen to the Season 4 trailer here.

The new season highlights how educators are addressing some of the trickiest problems in education with heart and creativity. This includes having serious conversations about social issues like race, power and privilege; how to approach anxiety; creating opportunities for overscheduled kids to play; and how bringing art  back into the classroom helps kids do better in academic subjects like math, science and reading. The first episode of the new season, publishing August 20, focuses on the rise of anxiety in teenagers. While the driving factors might be different, it’s expected that around one-third of teenagers will experience an anxiety . Host Katrina Schwartz takes us inside the experience of anxiety from two teens’ perspectives and shares strategies to cope.

In another episode, host Ki Sung explores the significance of free play. For generations, kids played after school, unsupervised by adults. Playing without adults supervising their every move is incredibly important for kids’ development. But in recent years, increased schoolwork and extracurricular activities designed to groom kids for college and careers have stymied unsupervised play at home. For the September 3 episode Sung visits a school that’s using the school day to give kids the experience of unstructured play instead of working on English and math assignments. And this attempt to bring back play has won the attention of thousands of teachers who are replacing one day of school with play each year as part of a global movement.


Launched in August 2016, the MindShift Podcast aims to improve learning for all. MindShift started in 2010 as a blog and now reaches over a million people a month through online articles, social media, an email newsletter, and the podcast.

Search for the MindShift Podcast wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and NPR One. Or visit to start listening.

MindShift Podcast Season 4 Schedule

Episode 1 - August 20
How Can Schools Support Kids With Anxiety?

Episode 2 - September 3
When Kids Don’t Get to Play At Home, Teachers Make Time at School

Episode 3 - September 17
Teaching Six-Year-Olds about Privilege and Power

Episode 4 - October 1
Rethinking School Lunch

Episode 5 - October 15
Third Graders Can Show What They Know Through Art

Episode 6 - October 29
Where Did All These Teen Activists Come From?

About MindShift
MindShift explores the future of learning in all its dimensions via its blog, email newsletter, social media accounts and podcast series. MindShift examines how learning is impacted by technology, brain science, poverty and inequities, social and emotional practices, assessments, digital games, design thinking and music, among many other topics. We look at how learning is evolving in the classroom and beyond. And we revisit old ideas that have come full circle in the era of the over-scheduled child, such as unschooling, tinkering, free play, mindfulness, project-based learning and student motivation. We report on shifts in how educators practice their craft as they apply innovative ideas to help students learn, while meeting the rigorous demands of their standards and curriculum. MindShift has a unique audience of educators, parents, tinkerers, policy makers and life-long learners who engage in meaningful dialogue with one another on our sites.

About KQED
KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. An NPR and PBS affiliate based in San Francisco, KQED is home to one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program helping students and educators thrive in 21st-century classrooms. A trusted news source and leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.