Much bigger than technology or classroom space, the most important factor in determining student success is having a good teacher. In two 15-minute sessions, Bob Pianta (University of Virginia) can tell whether a teacher is good or bad—regardless of their subject matter. Plus: Heralded by Time as one of the ten best college presidents, Freeman Hrabowski (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) has helped build UMBC’s reputation as a top school for students of color in STEM fields. And: Surprisingly, sometimes the problem in math class is not with numbers, but with words. Anne Charity Hudley (College of William and Mary) believes teachers need to be more aware of how cultural language differences can put some students at a disadvantage in the classroom. Later in the show: Brain injury is more common than you might think. 1.5 million people suffer an injury each year in this country alone. Michael Friedlander is the director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, where they’re looking for ways to help the brain heal itself. Also featured: What happens when you connect a computer to actual brain cells? From a glove that interprets sign language to a better voice-controlled wheelchair, bioengineer Nathalia Peixoto (George Mason University) uses electrodes, prosthetic devices, and microchips to help improve people’s lives.
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