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A Walk in Your Shoes is an American educational television series produced by Nickelodeon for its sister channel Noggin. The show documents the experiences of two different people who switch places for a day and learn how the other person lives. The series started out as a short-form series, which premiered on October 25, 1999, as part of Noggin's variety series Phred on Your Head Show. The first half-hour episode premiered on April 30, 2000, and the last episode aired on October 18, 2005. The show aired on both Noggin and the main Nickelodeon channel.
The show was originally aimed at pre-teens. By its third season, it had become a "serious-minded teenage documentary," with episodes centered around topics such as homelessness, teen pregnancy, living with HIV/AIDS, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Each episode documents the experiences of two different people who switch places for a day and learn how the other person lives. As the two subjects express their thoughts and impressions on camera, as well as in online diaries on Noggin's website, they learn to appreciate diverse perspectives. The show was designed to help viewers get a first-hand look at how people from different backgrounds and perspectives see the world.
Noggin's general manager, Tom Ascheim, described the show's premise: "we take people of different backgrounds and lives and have them swap. And then we have them show us the conclusions they draw themselves." Before each episode was filmed, Noggin staff members first proposed a topic for a new "switch"—such as two different races, music styles, or religions—then researched the topic. If they decided that a switch was both doable and educational, they started looking for a pair of individuals to switch. Ascheim said "We try to find kids who seem natural and talk easily." Once an episode's stars were chosen, Noggin hired experts on the topic as consultants. For example, for the episode "Catholic / Jewish," interfaith experts Rabbi Marc Gellman and Monsignor Tom Hartman (commentators known as "The God Squad") served as consultants. The show's educational goals were developed with the curriculum standards set forth by the National Council for the Social Studies.
A Walk in Your Shoes started out as a series of three short-form episodes. These shorts were tested as part of Noggin's variety series Phred on Your Head Show from October 25–29, 1999. According to a press release from Noggin, the show "received a strong response from kids when it debuted in short-form," which led them to order a season of 13 long-form episodes. Two of the shorts were combined to make up one long-form episode ("City / Country & Circus / Suburb"), and the other short was appended to a separate long-form episode ("Big Boss / 4th Grader & Candy Store / Summer Camp").
There were three home video releases of A Walk in Your Shoes. The show was first released to VHS in 2000, when Noggin released several episodes onto a video called A Walk in Your Shoes: Disabilities Teaching Awareness Kit. The episode "Living with HIV/AIDS" was released to VHS in 2003. The episode "Muslim" was released to DVD in 2005.
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