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.

NDU Audio Visual/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The longtime president of the University of Texas at El Paso, Diana Natalicio, is stepping down after more than 30 years on the job. But some are concerned about the UT System Board of Regents' choice as the sole finalist to replace Natalicio as UTEP president, Heather Wilson.

The idea of "helicopter" parenting may not have a formal definition, but we all have a pretty good sense of it when we encounter it: parents who seem to control and hover too closely to many aspects of their children's lives, often to the detriment (and sometimes embarrassment) of those children. In this episode of the KUT podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton take a discussion about helicopter parenting to a live audience of - yes - parents and students at Southwestern.

Safe spaces. Trigger warnings. Disinvited speakers. These campus issues got the attention of a "Higher Ed" podcast listener who wrote in asking about what he has observed to be the proliferation of them. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton address a listener's question about campus controversies.

For many people, goal-setting is an annual ritual perhaps fueled by the New Year and a commitment to make personal or professional improvements. But creating truly meaningful and achievable goals is a more complicated undertaking than simply tossing together a life "to-do" list. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton answer a listener's question about learning to craft and meet relevant goals.

Earth's millions of years of existence are divided into different time periods that chronicle its geological development. You may remember studying those in school. (Cenozoic era, anyone?) But what is impacting earth right now? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss the call for an "Age of Humans" designation to acknowledge the impact of people - and how to study that.

"Teacher's pet." "Know-it-all." "Brown-noser." These are just some of the terms students lob at each other in (and out) of school - especially at students who demonstrate strong mastery of a subject or are enthusiastic in class. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton  explore how and why those labels are used and why they might not pack the punch they used to.

What comes to mind when you hear the word "mentor"? Perhaps a bespectacled older teacher or other professional offering sage advice to a younger student? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton  discuss what makes a good mentor (and it doesn't necessarily have to do with age or specific experience).

What does "curiosity" mean, exactly? Most definitions center around the desire to know something. So is curiosity just the act of asking lots of questions, or is it something deeper? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss curiosity, wonderment, and if any question is ever a silly one.

Many external factors can impact the quality and effectiveness of a learning experience: the teacher; the other students in a class; the school's resources; even the student's surroundings and home. But what about the internal factors? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss the biases learners themselves bring to the information and process.

Wait, you mean adding a couple of descriptive words to a particular situation, puzzle or problem can help lead to clarity and a solution? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss this thought-provoking practice.

Ever feel like you want to ask a question, but you hold back because you think the question is stupid or you will look silly asking it? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss getting past those barriers that keep us from asking what's on our mind.

In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss a provocative question: does it really matter where you go to college? The answer can be complicated, and it partially depends on what you are looking for.

There has been a lot of talk in recent months about creating and maintaining healthy and respectful environments – especially in the workplace. But what about in the classroom? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss the keys to keeping the classroom an open and respectful place.

In school, our reading choices are mostly dictated by what is assigned for classes or from reading lists. But once we are out of school, the decisions are up to us.  In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss the joys and impacts of lifelong reading.

One reason often cited by non-voters for their lack of participation goes something like this: "My vote doesn't really count" or "How can my one vote make any difference?" Voter turnout among college-aged students is traditionally low in midterm election years. But this year is shaping up to be different.

In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss how to sustain that interest even when national politics are not so charged.

Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger calls his "Effective Thinking and Creative Puzzle-Solving" class at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, the "Seinfeld" of classes. Why? Burger claims that class is about nothing. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss why that kind of class is actually about something pretty profound.

Remember the character on the 1970's tv sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter" - Arnold Horshack - who enthusiastically waved his hand in the air and bounced up and down in his seat because he always wanted to answer questions in class? For many students, speaking up in school is actually something they try to avoid. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss the dynamics of classroom dialogue.

Choosing a major is a rite of passage for higher education students, and it can feel like a – dare we say it –major decision with lifelong implications. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss what could – and sometimes should –go into choosing a major plan of study.

A provocative column this year in The Chronicle of Higher Education laments the rise of what the author calls the "promotional intellectual." Dr. Jeffrey J. Williams of Carnegie Mellon University believes the old adage in academia of "publish or perish" has evolved into "promote or perish." In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss promoting one's academic work.

Most people do not necessarily enjoy being told when they are wrong. The formal education experience can at times seem like it is full of those moments - between corrections, grades, comments and evaluations.  In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss ways to correct without rejecting.

High school seniors have something extra added to their workload in the fall semester. Those who are going on to college have to navigate the college application process. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton dissect that annual dash to compile transcripts, test scores, essays and teacher recommendations.

The author of a summer op-ed in the New York Times (no, not that op-ed!)  believes girls would benefit from more drilling on math to "break the cycle of dislike-avoidance-further dislike" and help them build confidence in their math skills (which research has shown are pretty similar to boys' math skills).  In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton  discuss the op-ed's call for gender-based additional academic practice and how to undo lingering biases about gender and academic performance.

Remember those old film strips in school that would advance frame by frame, fueled by an annoying beep? Instructional media has certainly improved quite a bit since those days. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss if better videos make for better learning.

The episode was originally posted on May 20, 2018.

Business and industry sometimes say they find students are not prepared for work – or the working world in general – when they graduate from college. Liberal arts institutions, meanwhile, say they are preparing flexible and well-rounded students who are ready to tackle anything.

How can this disconnect be bridged? Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and I explore the relationship between academia and industry in this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed."

This episode was originally posted on Feb 4, 2018.

A lot of people have input when it comes to formal education: teachers, students, administrators, staff and parents for starters. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss who out of all those groups, though, is actually in control of the quality of the education provided.

This episode was originally posted on Jan. 28, 2018.

Those in higher education have a lot on their minds these days: the new tax law, immigration, affordability, the cost of education and how these things impact teaching and learning. Educators are also thinking about how people discuss those topics.

In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how people with different opinions can have fruitful and thoughtful conversations in and out of the classroom.

This episode was originally posted on Jan. 21, 2018.

We know what it means to "like" something. But does that word carry extra meaning in education and learning? What does it mean when students say they "like" a class or fear a teacher doesn't "like" them? In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore perceptions and realities of "likes" in education.

This episode was originally posted on Dec. 17, 2017.

There has been an ongoing debate in education about a staple of the school landscape: homework. Do students get too much? Too little? What role does - and should - homework play in education? In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss all things homework.

This episode was originally posted on Dec. 10, 2017.

"Whaddya get?" That's the question students often ask each other after graded exams or papers are handed back. Competition among students persists in education. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss if that kind of competition is ever productive or useful for learning.

This episode was originally posted on Dec. 3, 2017.

Puzzlers can be fun and challenging and can also help us think about some of life's bigger questions. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger puzzle through solutions to some especially tough riddles.

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