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.

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.


Was there a subject in school that seemed so hard and unsatisfying to study that even to this day the thought of it makes you cringe? For many students, that subject was Math. And perhaps more specifically, Calculus. Maybe it was the confusing terminology or seemingly abstract concepts. Can Calculus ever redeem itself? Is it ever useful? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger give Calculus a second chance.


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.


It's good manners to say "thank you" and show gratitude. But there are also ways that slowing down to notice and appreciate what's happening around us can give our brains some much needed rest. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the impact of showing gratitude and appreciation on learning.


Most dictionary definitions of "learn" make reference to acquiring knowledge or skills, becoming informed or finding out something. Sure, that makes sense, but what does it really mean to learn something? How do we know if we've actually learned it? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss what learning does and doesn't mean.


How can educators, parents, and other adults encourage young people to be curious and get creative? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger respond to a listener's question about promoting intellectual curiosity and confidence in kids.


What do you think of when someone is described as "smart?" They know a lot of things. Maybe they got high grades in school. Or maybe they always use correct grammar. But what does it actually mean to be smart? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the deeper meaning of the word "smart."


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.


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