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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: Competing Demands In Education Lead To Stress

The end of the school year is a busy time for students, faculty, staff, and families. Finals exams are looming; seniors may be on the hunt for a job; and many students have to say goodbye to friends and teachers. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and I discuss the origins of stress; the role it can play in education and learning; and how to successfully manage it (both in and out of school).

Actually, the entire school year can feel stressful with tests, grades, activities and high expectations to perform well. Ed says that a primary cause of overall stress in education stems from multiple, competing demands inherent in the system: students are trying to get the training and background they need to take the next step and launch their careers while also making deep meaning of the material they are learning. He says those two interests don't always happily co-exist.  In this episode, Ed and I talk about the definition and origins of stress. We also discuss ways to manage it, which does not necessarily mean completely eliminating stress.

One good way to get rid of some stress? Go to a party. Listen to the full episode to get the latest puzzler which is all about party guests' favorite school subjects.

This episode was recorded on April 20, 2018.

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 Twitter @jenstayton.