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.
Higher Ed
KUT

Higher Ed

From KUT 90.5

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.More from Higher Ed »

Most Recent Episodes

Best Of "Higher Ed:" Competition In Education

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. Competition in school is usually among students, but Ed and Jennifer discuss how students can set up a competition with themselves to try and improve their own individual learning and performance. They also discuss how to balance competition with being part of a community. Check out the full episode to hear Ed's thoughts about whether competition is something that should be taught in school and to hear a throwback puzzler a la "Let's Make A Deal." This episode was recorded Nov. 7, 2017.

Best Of "Higher Ed:" Puzzler Solutions And Real World Applications

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. Ed and Jennifer spend some time in this episode revisiting the solution to a previous puzzler about why manhole covers are round. A listener suggested other possible answers to the generally accepted one. A listener also submitted her own original puzzler and asked Ed to figure it out. Check out the full episode to hear what he comes up with and to hear how working through puzzlers can help us navigate some of life's bigger issues. This episode was recorded Nov. 7, 2017.

Best of "Higher Ed:" Education's Four-Letter Word

This episode was originally posted on Nov. 19, 2017. T-E-S-T. That word almost always strikes fear in the hearts of students. They're worried about doing well, getting a high grade and comparing their performance to that of their classmates. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore stressful test culture. Who hasn't had a "horror" story experience of taking a test? Ed and Jennifer share some memorable ones and take a closer look at why testing is so stressful. One reason: We tie our own worthiness into our test performance. Ed talks about how to decouple ourselves from our performance and how to make meaning out of our work on a test no matter the grade. Listen to the full episode to hear what words of encouragement Ed says you should never tell a test-taker. You will also get the result to the tricky train puzzler. It sounds like an arithmetic challenge, but there may be more to it. This episode was recorded Sept. 22, 2017.

Best of "Higher Ed:" Who Knows Best When Choosing Classes?

This episode was originally posted on Nov. 12, 2017. Our path through formal education is pretty prescribed through the early years. But in middle school, high school, college and beyond, students have more latitude in choosing their own classes and course of study. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss who knows best when making those decisions about which classes to take: students? parents? teachers? When is the right time to hand the reins over to students to make those decisions completely on their own? Ed and Jennifer discuss the various factors that go into putting together a schedule of classes and when parents and teachers should start handing off that responsibility – even if they think the student is about to make a big mistake! They also look at what factors should be considered when picking classes no matter who is choosing. Listen to the full episode and get the newest puzzler (this one is about Jennifer's favorite mode of transportation – trains). This episode was recorded Sept. 22, 2017.

Best of "Higher Ed:" What Constitutes A "Good" Education

This episode was originally published on Oct. 22, 2017. In a previous episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger answered a listener's question about how to know when it's the right decision to transfer schools. In this episode, they take that discussion a step further to answer a related and important question: How can students know if they're getting a "good" education? What does it even mean to describe an education as "good"? You can probably come up with some ways to objectively measure the quality of an education. Many of the teachers have advanced degrees from institutions with excellent reputations. The curriculum offers a wide variety of classes. Students graduate with promising job offers or acceptances to graduate schools. The school is highly ranked in national surveys. But what does a "good" education really mean? Ed argues it should be measured using different parameters, many of which actually rest with students rather than faculty or institutions. Listen on for the full discussion and the solution to the puzzler about who took a road trip to Southwestern University. This episode was recorded Sept. 22, 2017.

Best of "Higher Ed:" When It's Right To Transfer Schools

This episode was originally published on Sept. 17, 2017. Sometimes, a relationship doesn't feel like a good match. You can't put your finger on it, but it just feels like it's time to move on. That feeling can crop up in personal relationships, as well as in our relationships with schools. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and I answer a question from a listener who wanted to know whether transferring from one college to another is the right decision. It might seem like a pretty simple question, but there are actually quite a few factors to weigh. Ed and I discuss both the practical and emotional elements students and families should consider when making a decision about a transfer. And yes, it can be a little like deciding whether to stay with a boyfriend or girlfriend or break up. Click here to found out more and to get the solution to the puzzler about those elusive matching pairs of socks. Hint: No socks mysteriously disappeared in a dryer! This episode was recorded Aug. 10, 2017.

Higher Ed: Academia And Industry In Harmony?

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 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." One might assume that academia and the business world have different goals and missions and would have trouble reaching consensus on what constitutes adequate preparation. But Ed actually calls that tension "superfluous" and believes academia and industry can achieve synergy if they set aside biases about each other and keep an open dialogue. Listen on for our discussion about fostering healthy relationships between academia and industry. It is also time for the solution to last week's puzzler. Are you still counting how many golf balls it would take to fill a school bus? There is actually a relatively quick and easy way to figure that out. This episode was recorded on April 20, 2018.

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. A "Higher Ed" podcast 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.

Higher Ed: Pomp And Commencement Speeches

Some are boring and not very memorable. Some are inspiring and stay with the graduates for years to comes. I am referring to commencement addresses. And during this 2018 commencement season, Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and I spend this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed" discussing the good, the bad and the memorable from commencement addresses. Southwestern University's 2018 commencement speaker is Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton. She grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas and was a member of the second class of African American students entering Little Rock Central High School in 1959. Ed is excited for the graduating seniors to hear Dr. Hampton's inspiring story. Many commencement addresses are inspiring, and in this episode Ed and I recall some words of wisdom that have really made impact and some that were less-than-memorable. Ed also reflects on what he considers one of the most amazing graduation speeches he has ever heard. What made it so good? Listen to the full episode to find out and to get the solution to the most recent puzzler about math lovers who know how to to party. This episode was recorded on April 20, 2018.

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 KUT's Jennifer Stayton 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 Jennifer talk about the definition and origins of stress. They 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.

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