Culture Wars: Politicization and Polarization in the Classroom (S1E2)

September 26, 2023
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Hosted by seasoned educator Kimberly McGlonn, this episode takes a deep dive into the widening ideological and cultural divides impacting K-12 education. As schools find themselves at the epicenter of debates surrounding issues like race, gender and sexual orientation, educators must grapple with the challenges of a rapidly politicized classroom environment. We're joined by leading education historian and Penn GSE professor Jonathan Zimmerman, author of "Whose America?: Culture Wars in the Public Classroom." He provides valuable insights into the shifting ideological landscape since the book's first publication in 2002 and gives us some historical context for censorship, politicization and polarization. Then, professor of practice and former superintendent Andrea Kane sheds further light on the real-life implications of these culture wars for educators, students and communities, sharing some of her experiences on the front lines over the years. Tune in for a candid discussion on navigating these complex issues in today's educational setting.


  • Jonathan Zimmerman, Professor, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education
  • Andrea Kane, Professor of Practice, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education



 The Educator's Playbook podcast is produced in Philadelphia with partner RADIOKISMET.

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