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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: How Assumptions Impact Learning


Remember that old adage about what happens when we assume something? (Hint: break the word down into smaller parts and you'll get it!). Seriously, making assumptions can impact how we approach and learn information. Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and I spend this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed" exploring why we make assumptions; how they affect learning and problem-solving; and how we can approach education with a more open mind.

Recently, a "Higher Ed"  listener wrote in expressing frustration with the fact that she often gets the puzzler wrong because she makes assumptions - that turn out to be incorrect - about the parameters of the puzzler. She asked Ed and me to discuss why people are so quick to make assumptions, and what mental cues or habits we could employ to stop making them. 

Listen on to find out how to lean less on assumptions and to hear the newest puzzler. It is actually a "classic" that definitely requires fresh thinking.

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.