Bob Barrett

Host/Producer, The Best Of Our Knowledge

Bob has been a part of the WAMC family since 2001.  He currently produces and hosts National Production's The Best Of Our Knowledge.  Over the years, Bob has produced The Environment Show and The Health Show for National Productions and hosted weekend mornings on WAMC for a decade. He is currently a reporter and on air host at WUWF Public Radio at the University of West Florida in Pensacola. 

Ways To Connect

Rosewell Park Cancer Institute

If you have an important topic to teach a particular audience…it helps to not only know your audience, but to also know how to talk to them.

This culturally tailored educational approach is being used around the country to bring important information about health to a racially diverse population. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to the director of one of these programs in western New York State, which just received two major grants to continue their work.

What happens when you put regular people together with inmates in a prison? Sometimes you get the situation we had this summer in Northern New York when two inmates escaped from the prison in Dannemora with the alleged help of civilian staff members. But there are prisoners in northern New York who are enjoying a much more fulfilling interaction with people from the outside. Dr. Bob Cowser is a professor of English at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.

If you go by the raw numbers, it looks like children of minority families are more likely to end up in special education programs. But if we’ve learned anything over the years it’s that number don’t nearly tell the whole story. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to the co-author of a new study on minorities and special ed and learn why most preconceived notions are probably really wrong.

We’ll also spend some time yawning at an academic minute…and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

If someone tells you they are a science teacher…think about it, that really doesn’t narrow it down a whole lot. Earth science, chemistry, biology, astronomy, physics…these are all taught by science teachers. But it takes a special person to teach ocean science when there isn’t an ocean for hundreds of miles.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear the story of an ocean science teacher in a land locked state.

University of West Florida

After four long years of study and late nights and brutal exams, graduation! Freedom! Sleep! OK, enough of that…time to go get a job. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to an economist about the prospects this year’s graduates have in the current job market.

We’ll also look at one of the most open areas of the job market…the medical field, and find out how it’s coping with increased demand for doctors. And we’ll spend an academic minute with a necessary evil of the job search: networking…or is it schmoozing?

Recently there has been increased talk about the importance of teaching citizenship in schools.

We’ve had a conversation or two about it right here. But can citizenship education survive in an atmosphere of standardized testing and common core homogenization? Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to a professor of democracy and education about teaching students to be good citizens in a democratic society.

We’ll also spend an academic minute celebrating the birthday of one of the building blocks of democratic society.

William L. Clements Library / University of Michigan

A history class at the University of Michigan recently had the chance to study two unique aspects of American life just before and after the end of the 19th century: African American life in the Albany area after the end of slavery…and the photograph. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to Dr. Martha Jones, the history professor whose class studied the photo albums of Arabella Chapman…and preserved them on line for all to see.

We all have a picture in our head about what the perfect learning environment looks and sounds like. Secluded, comfortable, quiet.

Yeah, that’s pretty much all wrong. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to the author of the book How We Learn…and learn how most of us get it all wrong.

We’ll also head to LA and hear how the schools are helping low income students get three solids a day.

Anyone paying attention to the news of the day can see there are calls to limit the right of free speech in the US for various reason ranging from national security to racial unrest. You might think these calls are unprecedented. You’d be wrong. In the very early days of our republic, back in 1798, there were calls to make criticizing the government a crime.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’re going to return to history class and discuss those early calls for restricting free speech in the US

There are interesting stories about Common Core and standardized testing all over the country, but if you want real entertainment, you have to look closely at Florida. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear how developing education standards and valid evaluations has been a comedy of errors in the Sunshine State.

We’ll also see how another southern state, North Carolina, is trying to find ways to pay its best teachers. And we’ll spend an academic minute matching the personalities of students and teachers for better early education.

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