The Best Of Our Knowledge | WAMC

The Best Of Our Knowledge

Fridays, 3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Produced and hosted by radio veteran Bob Barrett, this show examines education from the classroom to state education departments. Bob interviews various educators about the subjects they teach, and will, every now and again, throw in a surprise, like speaking to the family behind "Dracula."

Twitter: @TBOOKnowledge

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Bob Barrett / WAMC

Two educators at a northern New York college are about to roll out some new workshops to help today’s teachers meet the needs of today’s students. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll learn about this teach-for-the-future project at SUNY Adirondack.

Jaime Haggard/Jesse Borden / University of Florida

In the Fall of 2019, a class had two teaching assistants, one male and one female. At the end of the semester, the students scored the male TA higher on course evaluations, while the female TA got five times as many negative reviews. There’s just one problem…they were the same person. We'll talk to her about these study results.

Smithsonian Books

The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum, education, and research complex. It is a beloved part of American culture. But its founder, a British scientist named James Smithson, never once set foot on American soil. So, who would do that? Steven Turner tried to find out. Turner is the author of the new book “The Science of James Smithson – Discoveries from the Smithsonian Founder”. While researching Smithon’s science he also learned a lot about Smithson’s personality.

Bob Barrett

There’s a course at Towson university in Maryland that teaches a class in positive psychology. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll learn how this class stays positive during a pandemic.

We’ll also learn how a school system  survived a cyberattack, hear how machine learning is helping COVID testing, and spend an Academic Minute with COVID-19 and your singing voice.

Island Books

Protect the health of the planet and you protect your own health. That’s an extremely boiled down version of the new book called “Planetary Health – Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves”. The emerging field of planetary health connects the dots between changes in Earth’s environment and the general wellbeing of us humans wandering around the planet. One of the co-editors of the book is Dr. Samuel Myers. Sam Myers is Director of the Planetary Health Alliance and a Principle Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H.

Harper Collins

What does it take to be called a genius? If you’ve given that any thought at all you’ve probably come up with some pretty abstract answers and qualifications. But in his new book called “The Hidden Habits of Genius”, Dr. Craig Wright, Professor Emeritus of Music at Yale University, has come up with some fairly concrete criteria for the genius tag. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll take a deep dive into the habits of genius.

We’ll also get some advice from someone else’s dad, and spend an Academic Minute teaching in a pandemic.

PublicAffairs Books

It’s no secret, America’s public schools are not having a stellar year. As the country continues to grapple with COVID-19, economic uncertainty, and social unrest, securing the funding needed to ensure a well-rounded, top-quality education for all of our nation’s students, from pre-K to grade 12, seems more difficult than ever. So why shouldn’t concerned parents place their trust in the private sector and vote to support charter schools and voucher programs?

As the civil rights movement of the mid-20th century made its way onto college campuses, the leaders of those institutions needed to find a way to keep the peace while making big changes.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear how college presidents straddled the campus color line.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute with equality on the links.

Allison Dunne / WAMC

A list of topics important to incoming college students has a new location and a new focus.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll learn about the Marist Mindset List.

We’ll also hear how students can enter a video competition from C-SPAN, get help for veterans with stress, and spend an Academic Minute helping members of the service with service dogs.

In person or on line, more students than ever are taking AP classes in high school meaning more ambitious goals for many schools.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll replay a conversation about advanced placement classes.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute telling stories about disasters.

A few years back, we spoke to the authors of a book aimed at young people called “Fault Lines in the Constitution – The Framers, their Fights and the Flaws that Affect Us Today” that pointed out the faults in the constitution with stories and examples from current and historical events. An updated edition of the book came out last year in paperback.

Sandra Day O’Connor made history as the first woman on the US Supreme Court. But women have been considered for the court since the 1930s.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll open up history class and talk about the women shortlisted for the bench.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute with the history of an exclusive book club for women.

Google Classroom has been around for a few years, and it has never been more popular.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear about distance learning tools from this tech giant.

We’ll also talk about one of the roadblocks to distance learning: broadband internet access…and we’ll spend an Academic Minute looking for some magic.

UWF

As colleges begin to reopen around the U.S. some are shutting right back down again.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we'll talk about a new survey from The Princeton Review about how top colleges are planning on reopening for the Fall.

The current crop of school age children are more social media and less social social. But the coronavirus lockdowns are having an effect.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, a report on the pandemic and Generation Z.

When schools shut down in the spring, many children around the country lost their primary source of food.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear about a new study on childhood hunger. You can find the Longest Summer report on childhood hunger from No Kid Hungry HERE.

Junior Achievement

We’ve heard a lot about going back to school in the fall from parents and teachers and administrators, but what do the students think?

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear the results of a Junior Achievement survey.

We’ll also learn how the army is adjusting its recruiting strategy, look at the results of distance learning, and spend an Academic Minute respecting digital literacy.

Every library Institute

When students go back to school every fall, it takes a while to get them back up to speed and learning again. It’s called a summer slide. Now a group of school librarians are worried about a larger gap and are ready to help. The Every Library Institute has published a white paper report on the topic.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear about the fight against COVID slide.

Skills 21 is a program in Connecticut that has challenged students to innovate and be creative for years. Earlier this year, along with the rest of us, they had to change their program.

Today on The Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll how about this resource for students has adapted. You can find some of students' Personal Interest Projects HERE. To get involved, go HERE.

Most students look forward to building a life and becoming independent, but for millions of young adults that opportunity seems far away.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear about these young people who are disconnected from success.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute with successful students who feel like impostors.

If you were asked to name a group of classic US political villains, Joe McCarthy’s name would be right near the top of most lists. But for a four year period, that wasn’t the case.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about a new biography of this American demagogue.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute whipping up a little laughter.

26 states now have active school voucher programs, but are those programs benefiting all students?

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear about the segregationist history of the school choice movement.

We’ll also learn about laboratory developed medical tests, and spend an Academic Minute with inequality everywhere.

NOAA

The Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig exploded in April of 2010. But it was 10 years ago this month that the oil began showing up on the shore.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear from a researcher and an emergency manager about the history of the BP Gulf Oil Spill.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute recreating the spill in a lab.

New South Books

A man born into slavery eventually became the first African American elected to Congress from Alabama.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll learn about Benjamin Sterling Turner, and hear how his story became a children’s book.

We’ll also hear how a jazz ensemble teacher and his  students are dealing with distance learning, and spend an Academic Minute traveling during a pandemic.

Bob Barrett

A lot of people who are stuck at home staring out the window are learning to enjoy what’s flying around outside that window.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about a new course on the joy of birdwatching.

We’ll also hear how students are making up for lost learning and some awesome technology. And we’ll spend an Academic Minute with our mixed-race future.

“The decade of progressive change”…that’s what a retired English teacher called the years 1967 to 1977 when he taught in New Orleans. He says that was the perfect time and place for innovation.

Next time on The Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about creativity and chaos.

We’ll also hear how recruiters are getting busy and spend an Academic Minute with sour dough lessons.

I’m Bob Barrett, that’s this week on The Best of Our Knowledge.

AACC

The next phase of testing for COVID-19 will be testing to see if people have antibodies for the virus. But some scientists have written a paper saying “slow down”.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, a conversation about serum testing for the coronavirus.

We’ll also learn how a reporting error is hurting student’s credit scores, using screen time to explore the outdoors, and spend an Academic Minute with platinum cancer drugs.

There is a small but growing world of high-achievement education giving rise to after-school learning centers, spelling bees, and math competitions.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about the trend towards hyper-education.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute with childhood anxiety.

Courtesy Santa Rosa County School District

School schedules and work schedules are competing for time and space in the home right now.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear how books and stories are helping to keep the peace.

We’ll also hear about the rise of contact tracers, learn how labs rearranging their priorities, and spend an Academic Minute with some timely nursing.

To understand how life developed and thrived in prehistoric times, it’s a pretty good idea to start by saving the life that’s still walking around.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, a conservationist talks about saving the last rhinos.

We’ll also hear how students at some rural colleges are coping with COVID, and spend an Academic Minute looking for ET.

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