Film director Martin Scorsese delivering a commencement speech this year at the University of Pennsylvania. He discusses what he has discovered through and learned from movies and his belief in "integral education."
Native Philadelphian Peter Liacouras is the seventh president of Temple University. Prior to holding the role, he served as the Dean of Law at Temple from 1972 and has been a member of the faculty since 1963. He's also worked as Special Assistant Prosecutor in Philadelphia, and worked on a four-year study on the use and abuse if computers in the criminal justice system. He joins the show to discuss his vision for Temple, and the university's new advertising campaign.
As an assistant principal, Joe Nathan has identified several ways to improve public schools by reducing teacher workloads, establishing consistent policies, and praising the accomplishments of faculty and students alike.
Madeline Cartwright worked as a teacher in Philadelphia public schools from 1959 to 1978, before moving into administration. Currently she is the principal at Blaine Elementary School, in the Strawberry Mansion section of Philadelphia, and she has spent the last five years transforming Blaine from a typical low-income school into a community that sparkles. Cartwright's staff has nominated her for the John N. Patterson Award for Excellence in Public Education. Cartwright joins the show to discuss the problems that are facing Philadelphia schools and her approach to solving them.
Language commentator Geoffrey Nunberg discusses the recent decision by Stanford University to amend its famed Western Culture requirement, and also the popularity of two recent books that critique educators for failing to emphasize the classic literature and ideas of western thought.
Guest commentator Maureen Corrigan reviews a new book critical of the college entrance exam, administered by the company ETS. ETS also developed the subject-specific Advanced Placement tests, which Corrigan graded for three years.
Fresh Air broadcasts a portion of Dmae Roberts's upcoming radio documentary, Waiting for the Great Leap Forward, produced for the Soundprint program. The feature includes interviews with teenagers about their attitudes toward school, relationships, drugs, and sex.
That student was Fresh Air's critic-at-large Laurie Stone. Stone studied with the feminist writer at Barnard. She was excited by Millet's enthusiasm for art and literature, and was emboldened by Millett's sincere belief in Stone's own potential.
Mathematician John Allen Paulos joins Fresh Air to discuss how people often lack the ability to evaluate the size of objects and the magnitude of different phenomena. He believes numeracy should be taught in primary schools in order to combat this deficiency.
Critic Ken Tucker reviews four home video releases of movies inspired by the antiwar movement. Three of them, about burgeoning romances amid student demonstrations, don't hold up. But Joe, a film that rejects hippy values, is worth watching, if only for star Peter Boyle's excellent performance.
Rose has created educational and literacy programs for young people who fall through the cracks in school. As a young person, he was placed in a vocational track after a testing mixup -- a program that wasn't a good fit for Rose. His new book about his education and his current teaching is called "Lives on the Boundary."
Part 2 of the Fresh Air interview. Crowe talks about how, at 22, he posed as a high school student to research his movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He says youth culture had already changed drastically in the four years since he had graduated, especially with rise of Reagan youth.
Film critic Stephen Schiff says the new, boarding-school themed movie never really allows star Robin Williams to cut loose; the younger actors, while good, exist in a kind of bland never-land. It's a departure from the normal Hollywood summer fare, but audiences will be turned off by the film's self-righteous piety.
Conway grew up in Australia and was home-schooled until college. Her new memoir, The Road from Coorain, looks at how her academic pursuits eventually led her to become Smith College's first woman president.