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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.

Higher Ed: Do Traditional Academic Calendars and Clocks Still Work?

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.

What if the school day consisted of shorter bursts of class time that lasted only 20 minutes? Would attention levels be higher? Click here for Ed and Jen's discussion and for more ideas about alternative ways to construct the school day and year. The new puzzler is like comparing apples and oranges... listen on for the challenge.

This episode was recorded on August 10, 2016.

For all of the Higher Ed episodes, you can subscribe to the podcast on itunes here!

Jennifer Stayton is the local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" on KUT. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on X @jenstayton.