BBC Radio’s Melvyn Bragg explores history and especially the history of ideas every week in a breathless 42-minute romp through a huge range of topics. Gathering academic experts around him, he delivers a weekly mini-course on subjects such as the trial of Charles I, the Augustan Age, St. Paul, Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’, the Boxer Rebellion, T.S. Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’, and so on, to take just a few recent examples. Science, politics, literature, art, and philosophy are all included. ‘In Our Time’ is ideal for teachers and students of those subjects, and teachers of I.B. Theory of Knowledge (TOK) will also find it useful.
The speed and (for some) the British accents will make comprehension challenging, so for these podcasts even more than most, it’s far better to download episodes and then distribute them to students, who can then listen at their own pace, re-listen, etc.
You can download recent programs from the BBC web site, but older programs are available only for streaming, so if you want your students to be able to listen on their computers or mp3 players, it’s best to subscribe via iTunes.