The Best Of Our Knowledge

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

Every day, faculty members at schools and universities throughout the world are making discoveries that shape our ways of thinking and redefine our understanding of today's knowledge-driven society. Since 1990, The Best of Our Knowledge has highlighted breakthroughs across disciplines and across the globe, putting you in touch with the men and women at the forefront of their fields. Each week this program examines some of the issues unique to college campuses, looks at the latest research, and invites commentary from experts and administrators from all levels of education.

Twitter: @TBOOKnowledge

Ways to Connect

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For the fourth time in American history, congress has started impeachment proceedings against the president. However, this is not a new or particularly American experience.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we open up history class to look at the past, present and future of impeachment.

We’ll also look at the advantages and the academic future of being bilingual.

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One of the best ways to educate yourself about a community is to read, watch or listen to their local media. But independent local media outlets are becoming scarce.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we present the story of the death, and possible resurrection of the Missoula Independent.

We’ll also talk about medical ethics inside the lab, and spend an Academic Minute with big and small dogs.

One of the things I love about producing this program every week is I get to meet and talk to some really fascinating people who are way smarter than I am. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll reintroduce you to traveling school evaluator and the director of the Mississippi Blues Trail.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute with your brain on music.

Coming to the end of the year is a good time to look back at some our favorite conversations of 2019, including one about the impact of science on the cold war.

We’ll also spend some time reviewing the teacher labor actions from early in the year…and spend an Academic Minute checking time on your body clock.

©Paul Kitagaki Jr.

After the start of World War II, more than 110 thousand Japanese-Americans were rounded up and taken to desolate detention camps. For most of us this is a dark stain on American history. For Paul Kitagaki, it’s personal. For more than a decade he has been tracking down and photographing survivors of the camps and their families. Now, the project has all come together in the stunning new book “Behind Barbed Wire – Searching for Japanese-Americans Incarcerated during World War II”.

We can accumulate a lifetime of knowledge and lose it all to Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers continue to look for ways to combat this loss.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to a pair of researchers who are taking two very different approaches to Alzheimer’s disease.

We’ll also hear from the Alzheimer’s Association…and spend an Academic Minute studying a population of healthy agers.

Most students whose high school career was all about college preparation likely don’t end up in community college. That means teachers at community colleges have challenges that university instructors likely don’t even think about. Getting past those challenges is the topic of Felicia Darling’s new book Teachin’ It – Breakout Moves That Break Down Barriers for Community College Students. Dr. Darling is an education researcher and long-time community college math teacher.

Whenever we hear the word fake these days, the mental reflex is to think the word news. But fakes have been a part of society, well pretty much forever. It’s the history of fakes that we’re talking about today with Dr. Lydia Pyne, a writer and historian of science, and currently a visiting researcher at the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her new book is called “Genuine Fakes – How Phony Things Teach Us About Real Stuff”.

In 2016, Dr. Monique W. Morris examined the experience of black and brown girls in school with her book “Pushout - The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools”. We spoke to her about the book when it came out. Now she’s back with a further exploration of the experience of young girls of color in school with her follow up called “Sing A Rhythm, Dance A Blues – Education for the Liberation of Black and Brown Girls”.

So you’ve just figured out how to survive in college and now it’s time to take on the business world. That presents a whole new bucket of issues.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about navigating the dos and don’ts of workplace culture for someone just getting started.

See Advice From Someone Else's dad HERE!

We’ll also hear from a history major who decided to travel before jumping into business, and spend an Academic Minute with language and nationalism.

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We love our devices. Phones, tablets, games, fit bits…there’s a gadget or gizmo to keep us busy at all times. But is that helpful?

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear how our devices may be disrupting development, and how to respond.

We’ll also hear about a new online poll school, and spend an Academic Minute with some interesting yays and nays.

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Video games are everywhere. The industry continues to grow, and the games themselves do serve a purpose.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll meet Jane McGonigal, a game designer who creates games that educate and heal. You can listen to Jane's TED Talks Here and Here.

Bob Barrett

A city as unique as New Orleans is bound to have a colorful history. Next time on The Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about the characters who created this unique American city.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute reporting on disasters.

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

More students than ever are taking AP classes in high school. That means more ambitious goals for many schools. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, a conversation about the past, present and future of advanced placement classes.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute looking for critters and stuff in your water.

If you attend college looking for vocational training, you may end up with a degree, a certificate, and maybe a special badge in empathy. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, a conversation about digital badges.

We’ll also hear about reports and programs focusing on preventing gun violence in school, and spend an Academic Minute with a mass shooting database.

Advances in technology over the past decade or two have been amazing, rapid, and for many of us, terrifying. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about a new book of terrifyingly awesome technology for students.

We’ll also talk about new training for ordering medical tests, learn how mental illness can lead to deportation, and spend an Academic Minute embracing students with disabilities.

The state of higher education the in US has changed dramatically since the end of World War II. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, 75 years of American higher ed.

We’ll also talk schools partnering for a nursing degree, and spend an Academic Minute learning to apologize.

Here’s a quick quiz, who was the architect of the New Deal? Easy? You’d think so, however it appears 18% of you think the the answer is AOC, not FDR. Today on The Best of Our Knowledge, the somewhat depressing results of a survey about the state of civics education in the US.

We’ll also talk about the 100th anniversary of a major scientific breakthrough, and spend an Academic Minute building a tavern.

With the start of the new school year, many colleges and universities are putting a new emphasis on student safety. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, common sense, technology and new laws help promote student safety.

We’ll also talk about the successes of school integration, and spend an Academic Minute improving schools with input from students.

A teacher in Baltimore thinks one solution to his city’s failing schools is tapping an underused asset: the students. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, a conversation about the Baltimore Algebra Project.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute with basic math, and how it might delay your college graduation.

There is a feeling in the academic community that the quality of writing from today’s students is not what it should be. But is it a deeper problem? Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear why improving the quality of writing may need to start with the death of the five-paragraph essay.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute shining a light on women…literally.

Students try lots of different methods to prepare for tests including mindfulness. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, a look at how test prep is changing.

We’ll also hear how some New York students published a book to help Alzheimer’s research, visit a hospital pathology lab and spend an Academic Minute searching for an autism biomarker.

With all the social and political issues facing the country can universities be a big part of the solution? Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll look at one road map to a solution that includes a lot of generous thinking.

We’ll also see if you can learn funny with a founding member of The Kid in the Hall, and spend an Academic Minute hearing women’s voices from the past.

The United States constitution has been written and argued about for over two centuries. And there are some who think a lot of those arguments are being put to the test as we speak. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, a constitutional scholar tells us how he thinks the old document is doing.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute thinking about the next election.

Florida is not exactly the biggest travel destination in August, but we like to take the road less travelled here. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk a university diversity officer who is taking on new duties.

We’ll also hear about a tuition guarantee at a state university, a mental health mandate and spend an Academic Minute saving coral reefs.

American colleges and universities are sometimes called ivory towers, self-contained communities with high minded ideals. But they are still run by people, and people can be pretty awful sometimes. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to a pair of researchers who say there are growing cracks in higher ed’s ivory tower.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute with parity in the potty.

UAlbany

A celebrated educator who once led the University at Albany, New York passed away this month. She also co-hosted this program for about a decade. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we remember Dr. Karen Hitchcock.

You can find some of Dr. Hitchcock's commentaries for WAMC here.

We’ll also have a conversation about freedom of speech on campus with the president of a college in Massachusetts…and we’ll spend an Academic Minute trying to define meat.

A pair of researchers traveled the country to find an innovative high school that engaged their students. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll learn what they found and how they say the U.S. school system can be remade.

We’ll also look at the future of common core and spend an Academic Minute with adults and kids and their thoughts on religion.

One of the biggest challenges a new doctor faces comes right at the beginning: medical school. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about continuing education with a doctor who changed from a traditional to an alternative approach.

We’ll also meet the new leader of a literacy program, grow a summer school garden, and spend an Academic Minute at the farmer’s market.

The longtime president of a northern New York university is calling it quits and looking back on the changes he’s worked through. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, an exit interview from SUNY Plattsburgh.

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