Abstract: The journey of the Outsider: At the Beginning of the Life of a Scholar
It is hard to be an outsider in any aspect of life. The plain and simple truth is that marginalized groups (i.e. women & minorities) are outsiders in institutes of higher education. Members of these groups usually do not have the luxury of going to the best schools, nor do they see people like themselves at the front of the classroom. Most college professors are white males from middle to upper-class backgrounds. Very rarely does a minority manage to fight his/her way through the foreign territory of university life, to obtain a Ph.D. Two of the few who actually did choose and succeeded in forging lives in the academy are bell hooks (Gloria Watkins) and Mike Rose. I plan on using the works of hooks and Rose to search for common ground between these two outsiders, who have obtained Ph.D's, in hopes of finding ways of helping other outsiders succeed. Hooks' book, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the practice of Freedom is her tale of survival in academy. Roses' Lives on the Boundary is also autobiographical and chronicles the events of his journey from outsider to "outsider within" (the academy) (Aronson 1992). This study is also a self-help piece. I am currently at the beginning of my life as a scholar and in need of some advice to aid me in the uphill climb that is surely to come.
Abstract: The Transformation of A Collaborative Learning Class
Mentor: Dr. Paul Lindholdt, English
Collaborative learning has been a buzzword on college campuses for many years, but does it really work? Teachers sometimes are reluctant to employ student groups (Walker 1996). Some instructors have used group work as a way to avoid extensive preparation themselves, while others have come to stereotype group strategies as a way for faculty to reduce their workload. The whole premise of collaborative learning can be summed up by using an ancient Chinese proverb: I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand. In the doing is the learning.
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