Academic Minute | WAMC

Academic Minute

Jaime Haggard/Jesse Bordon / 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bob Barrett

Studying history, including your own family history can be fascinating. And if one of your ancestors happened to write the original novel Dracula, well how cool is that? And there might be a little actual history involved in that story.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to Dacre Stoker, the great grandnephew and keeper of the estate of Bram Stoker.

We’ll also spend an academic minute looking for less famous vampires.

Want to teach accounting students about real world tax returns? Send them out in the real world to do people’s taxes. That's what students at a Florida university are doing, they're volunteering with the United Way's VITA program.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear how students are getting involved while getting credit

HMH Books

There are students who, due to lack of interest or ability, are just not ready for college. That can make a huge difference in their future.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear how our college years can make or break us.

We’ll also look at school based health centers, and spend an Academic Minute with everyone’s hero: mom.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

After decades of visiting and evaluating schools across the country, one education researcher has some ideas. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about preparing yesterday’s schools for tomorrow’s students.

We’ll also get into the debate over school start times, and spend an Academic Minute getting some tech into the classroom.

Without coffee, the entire educational system would collapse. Sure, that may sound like hyperbole, but if you’ve ever sat through an 8 am chemistry lecture on a Monday morning you’d be nodding in agreement right now. The fact is coffee has become engrained not only in American, but around the world as our go to pick-me-up of choice. And some coffee sellers travel the world to find the perfect bean.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll about the travels of a fair trade coffee merchant and his decades of combining environmental activism and caffeine.

Over 20 years ago, a sociology professor named James Loewen wrote and book that had people taking a closer look at the history that we thought we knew. Now, with over 2 million copies sold, that book is still significant and changing the way teachers teach.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll take another look at the book Lies My Teacher Told Me. And get a closer look at another of Loewen’s books that detailed a very specific and prevalent form of American racism.

And we’ll spend an Academic Minute comparing how different communities react to hardship.

Bob Barrett

A failing high school in North Las Vegas, Nevada was given a chance to remake itself and change the lives of some struggling students. Now, less than two years later, the experiment is paying off.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll take a tour of Desert Rose High School, and hear how students from all over the region are buying in to their new program.

We’ll also see how a college in New England is celebrating its history, and spend an Academic Minute learning about a growing social movement: neurodiversity.

Educators around the country occasionally have to teach some controversial topics. But odds are you wouldn’t put reading in that category. You’d be wrong.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to a long time education journalist about her new documentary about how the science of teaching reading is losing in the classroom.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute with a special font that is helping people with dyslexia to read.

NASA

A while back, we told you about a young scientist who was also a world class diver who was training for a mission with NASA call Project NEEMO. Well she’s now an award winning scientist.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll catch up with Dr. Dawn Kernagis, and talk about the results of Project NEEMO, and her shiny new trophy.

Also stories on a NASA study on fresh water on Earth and continued diversity in New York State schools…plus we’ll spend an academic minute looking for water in the Everglades.

Chances are pretty high that an undergraduate student…even one attending an elite institution…will be taught mostly by overworked and underpaid adjunct professors and graduate students who have received no teacher training. While this may be great news for the university’s bottom line, does it really constitute a quality education for their students?

We try to get around here at TBOOK central. A few weeks ago we loaded up the truck and attended a two day seminar on character education. The event took place in New Orleans, so of course one of the people I met and talked to is doing their work in New York City.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll introduce you to The Urban Assembly.

Since the end of the Civil War to the current trend of charter schools and vouchers, the American education system has been under pressure to integrate and provide and equal school experience for all.  And for a while it was working.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to the head of American Studies at Cornell University about segregation, privatization and what she sees as the current crisis in public education in the US.

We’ll also spend an academic minute seeing if liberal education can bring leadership to the country.

If you’re a science fiction fan, chances are you’ve heard more than a few stories about time travel. Next time on The Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll learn the history of time travel and why we care.

We’ll also hear about special classes for police officers to diffuse violent situations…and spend an academic minute mourning the mall.

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

A lot of people who run schools in the US are nervous. There’s new leadership in Washington and an education department that seems to have turned away from local, public schools in favor of charters and privatization. And then there are the endless standardized tests.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to a pair of educators who have decades of experience running and teaching in public schools who say these school belong to you and me.

Then we’ll spend an academic minute with deciding if Wikipedia has a place in the classroom.

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