Academic Minute

Bob Barrett

Whether it’s done with pen and paper, computer, tablet, even stone and chisel, writing has been and will continue to be one of the signature means of communication. Teaching writing is as important as ever…as is getting teachers the tools and training to be effective writing mentors to students.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about the National Writing Project, and how it’s expanding into an area of the country that really needs it.

And another one bites the dust. Before we kick 2015 to the curb for good, let’s listen back to conversations with some really interesting people we had this year. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll listen again to Pat Bradley’s interview with Alan Alda when he came to Vermont to open an institute for scientific communication.

UWF Historic trust

Quick, what’s the oldest city in the continental United States? If you said St. Augustine…bingo; you’re mostly right. That small city on Florida’s east coast is the oldest continuously occupied European-established community in the states. But the people who built that settlement weren’t the first to try to put down roots in what would become the Sunshine State.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, a look at how Florida is trying to preserve its history.

Do you remember the movie "Mean Girls"? The screenplay to the 2004 film was written by Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock star Tina Fey, who also had a role in the film. The movie was a worldwide hit and remains almost a cult favorite 10 years later. But did you know it was based on a non-fiction book called "Queenbees and Wannabees"?

In 2012, the New York Times Magazine published a detailed story about the sexual abuse of students at the Horace Mann School, an upscale private college preparatory school in the Bronx. As you might expect, the story got a lot of attention…but has prompted very little change.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to the author of that article who has expanded the story into a new book called “Great Is The Truth:  Secrecy, Scandal, and the Quest for Justice at the Horace Mann School” .

Cornell University via Facebook

There’s a group at Cornell University called the Cornell Alliance for Science, and they are holding a special event this month featuring global leaders talking about food insecurity and the challenges of farmers in countries around the world. But one of the major topics has some people in the US questioning the efforts. The topic: Genetically Modified Organisms.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear the pros and cons of GMOs in the developing world.

Unfortunately, sexual assaults on college campuses are not unusual. This year, a new law took effect hoping to make students safer. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear if the Campus Save Act is making a difference in a state with a high assault rate.

We’ll also travel to Portugal and hear how art is helping students build self-esteem, find out how teachers can avoid cyber traps waiting for them on line, and spend an academic minute figuring out just how Mexican your favorite Mexican restaurant is.

Oxford University Press

There’s a well-funded suburban high school in the Midwest that has an issue. It’s racially diverse, but once classes begin the sessions are anything but integrated…and school officials can’t figure out why. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear from one of the researchers called in to explain and help solve the racial achievement gap at Riverview High.

We’ll also spend an academic minute exploring the quality of your personal boredom.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: A liberal arts education teaches students how to think. OK, I’m not really going to stop but yes, most of us have heard that little nugget more than once. The thing is over the past decade or three we’ve become more interested in the bottom line. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, a discussion about the future the liberal arts, in what’s called the neoliberal age.

We’ll also hear how a group of performers are using comedy to teach about disability…and spend an academic minute with your lying liar kids.

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 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.

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.

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.

The Academic Minute for 2015.5.18 - 5.22

May 22, 2015

 Monday, May 18 Abe Springer - Northern Arizona University   Springs and Sustainability Dr. Abe Springer is a professor of hydrogeology and ecohydrology at the School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability at Northern Arizona University. For the past 20 years, he has studied local and regional groundwater flow systems and the human impacts on them.  Tuesday, May 19 Michael Strager - West Virginia University            Protecting Water Resources Michael P.

This Week on The Academic Minute (2015.5.18)

May 18, 2015

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Monday, May 18

Abe Springer of Northern Arizona University analyzes the vital role springs play in our environment.

Tuesday, May 19

Michael Strager of West Virginia University discusses the importance of mitigating chemical spills in our drinking water.

Wednesday, May 20

Albert Einstein College of Medicine's Betsy Herold details her work on a herpes simplex vaccine.

The Academic Minute for 2015.5.11 - 5.15

May 15, 2015

Catch up with The Academic Minute from 5.11- 5.15

Most educators agree that teaching ethics is an important part of a medical education. What they don’t agree on is when to start. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about teaching ethics to medical students.

We’ll also hear from a college student about her education in the arts…and the effects starting early in life had on her progress.

Then a conversation about summer vacation…and keeping all that good education from the school year safe between your student’s ears.

This Week on The Academic Minute (2015.5.11)

May 11, 2015

This Week on The Academic Minute (2015.5.11 - 5.15)

 Monday, May 11
Jeff Sovern of St. John's University analyzes the complicated contracts we all sign.

Tuesday, May 12
Ryan Schacht of The University of Utah examines how our surroundings might dictate our reproductive desires.

Wednesday, May 13
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Heidi Newberg explores the size of our galaxy.

The Academic Minute for 2015.5.4 - 5.8

May 8, 2015

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This Week on The Academic Minute (2015.5.4)

May 4, 2015

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Monday, May 4
Marina D'Angelo of The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine discusses canine osteoarthritis.   

Tuesday, May 5
Elizabeth Basha of The University of the Pacific profiles the utility of drones in a non-military context.

Wednesday, May 6
Monmouth University's Lisa Dinella explores the gendered constructs inherent in children's toys.

The Academic Minute for 2015.4.27 - 5.1

May 1, 2015

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This Week on The Academic Minute (2015.4.27)

Apr 27, 2015

This Week on The Academic Minute

Monday, April 27
Scott Adler of York University discusses his research into eye movement and cognitive development.

Tuesday, April 28
Geoff Harkness of Morningside College explains his findings conducting interviews on athletic playing fields in Iraq.

Wednesday, April 29
Lafayette College’s Jennifer Talarico explores the accuracy of human memory.

This Week on The Academic Minute (2015.04.20)

Apr 20, 2015

This Week on The Academic Minute [ 2015.04.20 ]

Monday, April 20
Sandee McClowry of New York University profiles her work customizing early education.  

Tuesday, April 21
Elizabeth Thomas of The Scripps Research Institute explores the genetic factors of Huntington's Disease.

Wednesday, April 22
West Virginia University's John Christian discusses the highly complex concept of space rendezvous.   

The Academic Minute for 2015.4.13 - 4.17

Apr 17, 2015

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University of Kentucky

It always strikes me as a little odd when someone talks about either believing or not believing in evolution. While I understand the theological arguments, and trust me…we’re not getting into one today…the current scientific evidence shows evolution to be a fact, not a belief system.

But still, about half the population of the US says they don’t believe that…and a recent article in Orion Magazine points to school systems as being the number one culprit.

This Week on The Academic Minute (2015.4.13)

Apr 13, 2015

Monday, April 13
Nancy Gallagher of the University of Maryland analyzes the public perception of the recent nuclear deal with Iran.

Tuesday, April 14
John Lurz of Tufts University discusses physical media through a close reading of Proust.

Wednesday, April 15
The University of Konstanz's Thomas Goetz defines a new type of boredom.  

Over the years we’ve heard about the fight against Big Oil, Big Tobacco and, everyone’s favorite, Big Government. Well now we’re hearing about Big Data. Companies are using your data to sell you stuff…but scientists are using it in other ways. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, a discussion on how clinical scientists are using big data.

We’ll also hear how fertility treatments have worked miracles for women and couples trying to have children. But those treatments have also opened up other doors, including the ability to manipulate genes and quote: build a better baby.

The Academic Minute for 2015.4.6 - 4.10

Apr 10, 2015

Catch up with The Academic Minute from 4.6 - 4.10

If there’s any occupation that needs continuously updated education it’s medicine. With constant updates and advances, physicians need smart, innovative ways to keep pace. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, a look at new technology and adaptive learning for physicians with Dr. Ulrik Christensen, the Chairman of the Board of Area 9 Learning. He is also a member of the executive management team of McGraw-Hill Education team striving to reimagine education through adaptive and personalized learning.

This Week on The Academic Minute (2015.4.6)

Apr 6, 2015

This Week on The Academic Minute ( 2015.4.6 )

Monday, April 6
Ellen Foxman of Yale University examines the common cold.

Tuesday, April 7
Glenn Geher of SUNY New Paltz analyzes the DNA of neanderthals.

Wednesday, April 8
The University of Scranton's Jessica Nolan looks at the societal forces that impact recycling.

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