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00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f7707e000090.5 WESA's Life of Learning series focuses on learning and education activities, opportunities and challenges in the Greater Pittsburgh area.This multi-year commitment to providing learning-focused news coverage in southwestern Pennsylvania is made possible by a generous grant from the Grable Foundation.

Essential Pittsburgh: Discovering Best Practices for Culturally Relevant Educators

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Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings is the keynote speaker for this year's Barbara A. Sizemore Summer Conference on Urban Education, a one-day conference held by Duquesne University’s School of Education. Dr. Ladson-Billings has focused her research on critical race theory, and has dedicated multiple studies to determining best practices for teachers who are educating within a racially diverse student body. 

Ladson-Billings explains her fear of losing great teachers, and ultimately why she wrote The Dream Keepers: 

“One of the reasons that I wanted to do the study that resulted in the book, The Dream Keepers, was my fear that some incredible knowledge and skill was going out the door and no one was documenting it.” -Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings

Also, Two German professors with the Acoustical Society of America uncover Pittsburgh's urban "soundscape," and an upcoming expo at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center takes a focused look at improving multi-modal transportation.

The Pittsburgh Soundscape (starts at 22:21)

Sounds play an important role in the experience and feel of a city. Recently, two German acoustics experts who were in town for the annual conference for the Acoustical Society of America performed an analysis on Pittsburgh’s "soundscape." Professors Brigitte Schulte-Fortkamp and Klaus Genuit join us to talk about their acoustic assessments of Pittsburgh’s urban spaces.

ITS America Expo (starts at 34:26)

Whether you’re driving, walking or biking, transportation issues are a major concern in cities and towns around the world. Finding innovative ways to improve the many modes of transportation, and making them safer, is a goal of the upcoming Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS) of America’s Expo taking place next week at the David Lawrence Convention Center. We’ll preview the event with Senior Vice President for Government and External Affairs at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America Paul Feenstra.

More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be found here