Higher Ed

In their lively and entertaining weekly discussion of issues related to higher education, KUT’s Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore the topics of higher education, lifelong learning, and exercising the brain. Ed and Jennifer practice what they preach, too, by introducing math puzzlers and brain teasers to keep listeners on their toes.

Note: This "Best of Higher Ed" episode was originally released on January 10, 2016.

We are just a little ways into the new year and it's already proving tough to keep some of those well-intentioned resolutions. You know, the usual ones such as exercise more, eat better, or be nicer to people. There is actually a resolution that can be fun and not too hard to keep. In this "best of" episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about learning more - and liking it - in 2017.


That sweater that doesn't fit quite right.  Or a fruitcake with ingredients that are not immediately recognizable. Do your family and friends really need more of these during the holiday season? What about giving the gift of learning instead? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how to encourage people to embrace learning at any age or stage of life.


Do you sense that you understand things better when you read them or hear them? Do you learn better via words or images? Are there really even different learning "styles" at all? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore a listener's question about learning styles.


Most people who get at least a high school education will experience a pretty standard set of courses no matter where they go to school: Math, English, Social Studies, Biology, and the like. But are there things not being taught in schools that should be? What if the traditional academic slate were wiped clean and replaced with a new "road map;" what might that look like? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss some things that could be added to curricula to enhance education - even well beyond school years.


Social media such as Twitter allow people to draw attention to situations and problems that might not otherwise get much focus. It also lets people share information and connect quickly and easily. But what has happened to the value we place on interacting and connecting in person? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the immediacy and emotion of social media and the value of personal interactions.


This 2016 election season has a lot of people talking about leadership: what qualities do we want in a leader, and what kind of experiences can prepare someone to lead? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about whether leadership can be taught and learned, or if someone people are just "born leaders."


Technology means students can take classes in many different modes and venues. They can be together in a traditional classroom, of course, with a teacher. Or, they can listen, discuss, and learn remotely any time and anywhere via online courses and videos.  In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger look at different ways learning can happen, and if one way is more effective than another.


Every student and teacher has likely at some point during the school year looked longingly at the calendar, hoping the days and weeks until vacation would pass more quickly. And who hasn't stared at the clock during a long class, watching the seconds tick by? The traditional school calendar and school day schedule have been around for a long time but may no longer be effective or even necessary. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore the origins of the traditional academic schedule and toss around some different approaches.


Note: This "Best of Higher Ed" episode was originally released on December 20, 2015.

Doubt. It can make us question some of our deeply-held beliefs. But is that necessarily a bad thing? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the value that doubt can have for our learning and education.


Note: This "Best of Higher Ed" episode was originally released on September 20, 2015.

What happens when you mix together liberal arts and democracy and then throw in a little media coverage? You get a fascinating discussion about the intersection of those three storied institutions.


Note: This "Best of Higher Ed" episode was originally released on September 13, 2015.

Have you ever heard of a "value study" in art? It's a way to make a quick sketch of whatever you see and then fill it in with shades of gray. It leaves out detail in favor of broader strokes that capture the essence of the subject. Could this also be a way to tackle a new intellectual endeavor? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher EdKUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger translate this art technique to learning.

Note: This "Best of Higher Ed" episode was originally released on November 1, 2015.

There are times when we feel like we just "know" something. We can't necessarily explain why, but we just have a "gut feeling" about it. When is it useful to go with that gut feeling, and when should we slow down and think things through? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about using our instincts and using our intellect.


Note: This "Best of Higher Ed" episode was originally released on October 18, 2015.

Infinity. What does it really mean? Can we count it? If so, how? And can we ever really define or describe it? It seems like there are an infinite number of questions about infinity. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger help us try to wrap our minds around infinity.

Note: This "Best of Higher Ed" episode was originally released October 11, 2015.

No one remembers everything they learned in school, right? We cannot possibly retain all of those facts, figures, and formulas. So, 20 years after we're done with our formal education, what have we taken away from that experience? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger try to answer that 20-year question about education and learning.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

State education leaders want 60 percent of Texans 25 to 34 years old to have some kind of post-secondary certificate or degree by the year 2030. But to get there, students need to be ready to take college-level classes, and it can take leaders time to agree just who qualifies as prepared.


Summer. For students and teachers, that means a break from books, papers, tests, deadlines, and the stress of school. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton talk about the benefits of that break, as well as the advantages of keeping the brain at least a little busy during the summer months.


Arithmetic is just a fancy word for Math, right? Actually, they mean two different things. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton explain what "arithmetic" means; what "math" means; and why it matters to our learning and lives.


Eureka! You know that moment when you feel like you've come up with something completely original? Well, consider this: Is it actually possible to come up with totally new thinking, given all the information that influences our thought? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton respond to a listener's request to compare and contrast synthesized thinking and original thought.


Anxiety seems to come with the territory - at least some of the time - in school. Students worry about tests and grades or about trying to learn material that's unfamiliar or tough. But does anxiety really have to be part of the learning process? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton chill out and discuss the role of anxiety in learning.


A.....B......C.... at the end of the school year, many students are eager to see their final grades. But what is the real value of those grades? What happens when higher and higher grades are awarded for work that may not actually be that much better? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton explore the phenomenon of grade inflation.


If you only had one class left to take in school, what would it be? During this graduation season,  Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton explore what that last class could - or should? - be, and making the transition from formal education to lifelong learning.


In this "Best of" Higher Ed episode, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger reflect on what commencement means and discuss what most students actually take away from their college experiences.  It may not be exactly what you'd expect.


Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Walk onto any historically Black college or university campus across Texas and you’re likely to hear calls from a Greek organization like Kappa Alpha Psi. That's one of the many Greek organizations established by African-Americans. Greek life is often strong at HBCUs and so is the emphasis on black identity, empowerment and leadership.

"If I only knew then what I know now...." Sure, hindsight is 20/20. But if you could talk to your younger self, what advice would you give? What decisions would you make differently? During this graduation season,  Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton give their younger selves some words of wisdom about life and learning. Think of it as "Higher Ed's" 2016 commencement address.


A podcast listener and fan recently wrote in with a question: How does one teach (or force) current and future Math teachers to make Mathematics fascinating? (By the way, that podcast listener is studying Mathematics education.) Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger is a mathematician, so who better to tackle that! He and KUT's Jennifer Stayton explore that question in this episode of Higher Ed.


Math: we love it; we hate it; we cannot live without it. A Higher Ed podcast listener had read a National Public Radio piece on a book that argues against requiring advanced Math in school. That listener - who's studying Mathematics education - was inspired to write in and ask: Should Math be a college requirement? Does Math add significant value to a college curriculum? Can students become lifelong learners without taking Math? KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore those questions in this episode of Higher Ed.


What are the roles and responsibilities of higher education – if any – in resolving growing inequality in the U.S. and globally? That provocative question from a listener prompted KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger to explore the roles and responsibilities of higher education in general for this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed.


Most people like what's familiar, comfortable, and tidy. But should learning be that way, too? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the ways in which learning is actually quite messy. And how we shouldn't want it any other way.


Think. Create. Connect. To make meaning and make a difference. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger about a new vision for education and what that can look like in practice.  They dive in to the pieces of that vision to see what it might take to revolutionize education.


We all know the traditional school routine: Go to class, listen to a lecture, take notes, go home, do the homework, come back to class, repeat. What if that model were reversed, and students were producers of some of that information, instead of only consumers? In this "Best of" episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss flipping the traditional model of learning.


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