The Talking Teachers podcast series offers fresh perspectives on major issues and current tensions within Australian education. Each episode is hosted by Associate Professor Don Carter and Associate Professor Jane Hunter, who are both members of the Life-wide Learning and Education Research Group in FASS.

Two seasons were produced in 2023 with 6 episodes per season (bar one ‘lost’ episode that is still trying to pin down its education talent!). An added ‘unique selling point’ in every episode is a spontaneous ‘30-second rant’ from each guest on an education issue that is really bothering them. 

Jane noted that one of the key triggers for the podcast was the way teachers and schools are reported in the media. This was not always even-handed or accurate, so “we were keen to talk to people in education circles who are on the front line, but their voices are not always heard in the usual education forums.” 

Why a podcast?

Podcasting was identified as a medium that could expand the reach of education audiences beyond those of scholarly articles and conference papers. The significant statistics and feedback that followed the release of the podcast is testament to this being a positive decision.

One advantage of developing a podcast series was utilising the facilities, resources and talent available at UTS, from being able to showcase the research of colleagues in the shownotes for each episode on the podcast website to engaging helpful producers, as well as accessing the use of the LX.lab Media Space.

Top 10 tips

With key education topics identified and experts sourced to match the themes, the podcast took shape. But there were some key learnings, particularly around preparation and strategy – here are some important tips from Jane and Don.

  1. Do your homework – what other podcasts are doing something in a similar field and what will make your take on this subject matter unique?
  2. Try not to tackle multiple issues – don’t be all things to all people and focus on a single topic per episode
  3. Define your audience and consider why would choose to listen to your podcast
  4. Take time to research what talent you want to interview that is best for your topic
  5. Two interviewers for a single interviewee is a good model – Don noted “it becomes more like a conversation rather than a grilling one-on-one”
  6. Find the balance between scripted and spontaneous – inform your interviewees of the conversation points but not to the point where they will have over-prepared, lengthy answers
  7. Keep the episodes short (preferably less than 30 minutes with an intro and outro)
  8. Release the series as whole rather than episode by episode
  9. Ensure the podcasts have an online home that makes them findable and shareable
  10. Promote on social media using little grabs of audio on audiograms from each episode then upload them through all the usual channels

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