educationthesis

Archive for the category “Group Meeting”

Just a Gal and her posters

capstone

This is what I call a “final event” selfie. Like Taylor said in her last post we met as a group last night in Slavin for a large remainder of our Sunday night and talked about our final event. As you can tell from the background of my “selfie” that we laid out all of our posters that we have put up and really looked over what we have accomplished over these past few weeks. It was refreshing to see what we had accomplished not only between us five yet also on campus. We all shared stories about how we heard students, professors, and friends talking about the poster we have been putting up around campus and the questions we have been posing.

While as a group we tended to get off topic a lot during our meeting last night with talking about issues at PC a large problem we discussed was the bureaucracy here at Providence College. Our frustrations lie in the issues about higher authority at our school silencing the voice of the students here on campus. Although our project for capstone has been on the smaller scale we have been able to give a sort of voice to the students that the authority at PC tends to hush. Our concern mainly comes from trying to be able to promote more people or space to keep up this democratic space where students can pose questions and create a dialogue. We’re hoping that our final event will be able to create something tangible to leave behind as we graduate.

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Visualizing Our Final Event

The lovely EduChicas met this evening to hammer out the details for our final event.  We spread out in the Unity Center and took the majority of our prompts and laid them out so we could look at all of them and start picking out themes.  We discussed different aspects of the posters and talked about some of the comments.  It was really cool to see them all together! We spent the whole time going in circles talking about how we want our final event to go.  We were thinking that we would have all the prompts up on display so that people could walk around and look at them.  We would like to take photos of individual comments that particularly strike us and have them on display in a slideshow.  (Just a thought: maybe we could have Sonia and Lily look at the prompts and pick out the ones they think should be posted, even if they didn’t necessarily participate in the prompts.  It could be cool to still see what stands out to them.)  We would also like to include on display the photos we have taken with Sonia and Lily.  We hope they can come to the event but we aren’t sure due to their work hours/break times.  We had the idea that if they definitely couldn’t come, maybe we could film them and have that played at the event.

In terms of the rest of the event, we would like to have a dialogue with whoever shows up.  We would maybe have them look at the prompt posters and the visuals and then break up into small groups, talk and then come back full circle.  When we looked at common themes among the posters, we flushed out diversity, the value of education, religion and lived experiences.  We would like to hone in on those.  We are hoping our final event points to something greater, which we were struggling to define tonight.  We are thinking of focusing our efforts on trying to keep the dialogue going by pushing for a democratic space on campus where these conversations can happen and where Sharon Hay (and anyone else’s) jurisdiction can be avoided.  We hope to invite a wide group of people to come.  We want to pull from a lot of different groups: professors from different departments, staff from ResLife, SAIL, etc., students from different backgrounds, etc.  I’m even thinking we should put up an announcement in Ray for whoever could possibly go.  It might be more plausible for the day workers given the time of our event.  More action will be taken as soon as we find out if our date/time/location has been approved. Once it has we will post our info to the event page on the facilitators’ blog, and get to creating/sending out invitations.  Fingers crossed!  Hopefully the odds are in our favor.

Making dates

RECLAIMING EDUCATION: MAY 8, 4:00-6:00 (pending confirmation)

The Educhicas could not wait any longer.  There are two weeks left of academic life at PC and last Thursday I was still lacking the imagination for our final event.  We now have photos and material from our visual research, but what on earth were we to do with it?  Lynnzie and I conferred and decided to stay after class to sort it out with tKL.  It was so helpful to talk it out and Kara, brilliant as always, took notes for us.  

All along, we’ve been thinking and talking about the learning that takes place outside of the classroom.  In the classroom, you have the division between the all-knowing professor and the student, an empty vessel.  The obsession with formal education and the US diploma have led to a valuation of that knowledge above the learning that takes places within relationships and among people who don’t have a piece of paper saying they’re $200,000 in debt for their degree.  Our photovoice deconstructs education on three levels: what students say about their education, the relationship we have with Sonia and Lily (the learning they and we have gained through our time together, their knowledge menospreciado because they don’t have degrees), and the stories and lived experiences of invisible people on this campus.  They have all sorts of lived experiences that no textbook could teach you.

With that in mind, it seems natural that we would present to faculty, administration, and other students who would carry it on.  The presentation will have to be interactive, engaging and make people start to question.  Maybe we should do a role play on what professors and students look like in civ seminar like the role play we did in capstone at the beginning of the year…

We’re meeting tonight to powwow for hoursss and hammer this out.  Stay tuned.

Deconstructing the college diploma: re-conceptualizing education through the lens of lived experiences

I love what Grace wrote.  Put it on my luggage.

Today, though it feels like it happened years ago, Educhicas met and invited ourselves into Sharon Hay’s office.  She graciously asked us to sit down so we could explain ourselves and get to the bottom of this poster business.  We explained where we were coming from, she gave some (rather groundless) excuses for not getting back to our email, but in the end we came away with permission for our last two prompts, easels, and posters (gotta watch the fire hazard).  We simply posted “We should talk about…” and the boards are nearly FULL already, and with incredible responses.  After I write this, I’m going to have to go put up a new board in front of one of the others because so many people have responded!  

That excitement aside, as I sat down to watch The Invisible War with Jenn (and be reminded once again that this is not a woman’s world), we got to discussing our continued state of uncertainty about our final events.  I just started jotting down some ideas in my little notebook, trying to think about what would be meaningful and sustainable, a concern that Lynnzie brought up in our meeting today.  

Maybe, we could set up everything we have so far in the fishbowl or some other space and invite Sonia and Lily (and maybe Cecilia too and anyone else who wants to talk about these things).  I’d like to invite some of the administrators as well, like Steve Sears, Elena Yee, Rafael Zapata, Res Life people, and students from organizations that facilitate a lot of the “learning relationships” that go on outside of the classroom.  Taylor said she was thinking of something like a forum, which could be a good route to go, but it could be a larger discussion as well.  There should be time for people to get a look at the visual pieces we have assembled and then we can get down to business.  If a degree means four years spent at PC, what does that mean?  What kind of an education do students take with them?  Can we honestly say that we have created a supportive community here for everyone?  I’m not sure if those are the right questions, but I wanted to throw this out there.  It still sounds like institutional change or reform to me, but we need something to work off of.  We also need to reserve a space, date, and a time.  

Also, for Sonia and Lily, we can ask them to look at the pictures we have so far and pick the ones they like best, then give them captions/titles (maybe about learning?).  

Side note: These pics were taken while we were putting up the boards and at about 6:45pm.  Since then, they have received even MORE responses and I had to put out another board.  I am loving the enthusiasm!  

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Workshop Update Dos

Storytellers and Community Partner Relationships

We are still working with Lily and Sonia every Friday in Ray, chatting in English (as much as possible) about the pictures they or we bring in, but we have also added the PC student body/passers-by in Slavin (and facebook users) to our storytellers.  This has added an anonymous component to the stories we are receiving.  On facebook, the stories are coming in anonymously to our Reclaiming Education page where we’ve asked “What is the most important thing you’ve learned in your life?”  People have sent in photos and captions to our gmail account, which we then post on the facebook page.  We hope to get more opinions and perspectives on education from people with different levels of formal education and people who are at different stages in the process of education.  To deepen the differing perspectives, we are also going to distribute posters asking for responses to our questions in academic departments to get professors’ responses as well.

Initial Findings/Developments

So far, the photos we have been discussing with Sonia and Lily are photos from their past of their families and important events.  They fall within the “artifacts” category of the Mitchell book.  We’ve asked them to bring back pictures about what education means to them for next week, because up until now our conversations about the photos have probably served the “building rapport” purpose rather than the “social change” purpose (though the relationships in themselves are social change too!).  Other than that, we have taken a little bit of a different spin with our visual research.  We put up one poster last week in lower Slavin with the prompt “I want to learn…” and left markers for people to record their responses.  We also created a facebook page with the prompt “What is the most important thing you’ve learned in your life?”  On the facebook page, we’ve asked for people to submit photos and captions, but on the wall in Slavin we have only handwriting.

The poster in Slavin received a lot of responses and the facebook page is still receiving more entries.  It has 37 likes so far and we are looking for more ways to promote it within PC (Feinstein, ResLife…).

From Sonia and Lily, we’ve learned some really interesting things based on their stories and perspectives.  Relevant to education, they told us about how they believe that education begins with the mother, which places a lot more emphasis on the family.  The family is one of the smallest systems of relationships there is, so if that is where your important education happens, how we think about learning and education has to shift.  Within the family, learning comes from relationships and from example.  Relationship based learning, whether it comes from the traditional family or from other families that we form (communities, capstone?), is the learning that carries you and is meaningful.  The education system as a whole doesn’t tend to view things that way; rather, it pushes for passive learning and often doesn’t reflect the “real world” that requires us to work with other people to effectively solve the issues that we face globally.  Though the education system claims to teach us the most important skills, it doesn’t create a space to use those skills in a critical way to promote social change.

Final Event/Social Change Questions

We really need help with our final event and audience!  We are imagining maybe an “Education and Storytelling” event that allows us to share the stories that Lily and Sonia have shared with us as well as the responses we have received from our posters and facebook page.  The education system doesn’t reflect the knowledge to be gained from human interactions, the real world, our experiences together, and what we need to live well together, so we want to present something that challenges both the content that we are required to learn and the terms on which that learning takes place.

What are we actually trying to change in society?  Though it sounds vague, we want to change how people view education and what’s required of us in terms of that learning.

Timetable

April 14–post “I pay $57, 135 a year to…” prompt in Slavin

this week–distribute posters to departments

April 18–present our workshop and take down the poster prompt

April 19–meet with Sonia and Lily to go over the photos they took about education

April 22–post a new prompt in Slavin

April 25–take down poster from Slavin

April 26–meet with Sonia and Lily

last week–event prep

Overall Questions / Challenges

Right now, we are struggling the most with clearly identifying our problem and the final event audience.  It’s also hard to connect the experiences we’re having with Sonia and Lily with the data we’re getting from facebook and the poster.

The global impacts of this is that the current education system presents the world as it is and presents a very narrow vision of that world that does not reflect the lived realities.  Allowing learning, anywhere, to take place on the level of relationships that appreciate the variety of experiences and knowledge that everyone has, would allow people to better confront the global issues that we’re dealing with.  Education for empowerment and social change is what we’re trying to envision with all of this.

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https://www.facebook.com/pages/Reclaiming-Education-PC/237779579695993?id=237779579695993&sk=photos_stream 

EduChicas Meeting 04/09

The EduChicas just met in lower Slavn for our weekly meeting.  Here’s what we discussed.

In terms of our Reclaiming Education movement, how do we reach out to people?  We are thinking of doing a prompt a week or just try bombarding the PC community with different prompts but we’re still not sure what’s the best way.  I like the idea from AltEcon of creating a prompt letter.  That might be useful to getting the word out.  People have started to like our Facebook page and a few have sent us images/captions to put up (thanks to those who’ve done it!  They’re great so far!), but we want to facilitate good questions so that more people will participate.  In order to move beyond just the student body, we want to hear from faculty and staff too.  We are thinking of distributing a flyer (Anne just drafted it and it looks awesome!  Keep an eye out for it) throughout campus and putting either a manila envelope or a box with notecards next to it. The notecards will have a prompt on it and people can respond.  Though this “dropbox” doesn’t seem conducive to photos, people could still submit to us online (the poster has this info on there).  We’d like to get envelopes all over campus, maybe even in the back of Ray or the ABM office.  They are part of the PC community too!

A long time ago, the EduChicas had this brilliant idea of posting parchment paper or something of the like in Slavin and having people post responses to what they thought education was.  Months ago we emailed Sharon Hay and tried to set it up.  She said yes, but kept telling us to set up a meeting with Dr. Sears.  Well, it’s April now and we still haven’t been able to meet him sooo…screw it.  Bureaucracy is slowing us down.  EduChicas are taking matters into their own hands.  Technically we’re approved and it’s for a class anyway so we’re doing mission impossible and going to post something up in Slavin verrry soon.  Be on the look out and please participate!

Relating to our CP, we are still planning on meeting this Friday (hopefully our CP will too).  We’re disappointed that they couldn’t come last week, but hopefully they’ll be rearing to go this week (and with photos!).  We’re going to have them do the same prompt we would’ve had them do for last week (take a picture of something that challenges you).

That’s all for now.  Please feel free to give us any comments/suggestions that you can.  Hope everyone enjoys this beautiful day!

EduChicas Group Meeting 04/02

 

The EduChicas reconvened this morning in lower Davis.  The majority of the meeting was taken up by a venting sesh.  Though I believe it’s healthy that we share our thoughts and feelings, whether good or bad, I feel like a lot of our meetings are starting this way.  We’ve hit that point in the semester where it’s time to hit the panic button.

Here’s what we talked about:

 

Get out thesis frustrations:

-What do we have to show for this(these) semester(s)?

  • Social Change and Photovoice seem disjointed to us
  • What is the change that we are making?
  • What does any of this have to do with Education?!  We still haven’t found the link.

 

Community?

-How have we fostered community?  Within Capstone, we’ve done well, but with our CPs, we feel like we’re lacking.  If we could go back in time, we would’ve spent all of fall semester doing CP search and relationship-building instead of lit reviews.

 

For CP:

– We discussed doing something in conjunction with the diversity plan and the campus initiatives with that?  Maybe we could try and have the Ray workers included on the discussions for diversity?  See if we could get their kids access to PC like other faculty and staff get?  We are trying to tie in the theme of education somehow…

  • Remind them of our prompt for this week: “What challenges you?” Hopefully, we’ll get some good photos from this and we will get closer to what we are trying to identify with them.
  • Ask them what they would like to see changed during the next meeting.

 

Obstacles we are still facing:

-working around their work schedule

-we’d like to get more people involved/have more voices

 

I want to try and close on a high note.  We, the EduChicas, can do this!  We are capable of anything.  We work with three fabulous women who enjoy our sessions.  We will find a way.  Let’s go girls!

Group meeting recap

Grace mentioned a little bit about our meeting in her last post, but I’ll elaborate. Edugirls (minus Brenna 😦 ) met in lower Davis this morning. We didn’t have a lot to discuss regarding the logistics of our project, but we did talk about incorporating more one on one interactions with our community partner. We spent the majority of our hour meeting talking about the larger themes relating to our project. We talked about Teach for America and the article that Grace posted that explains why a college professor refuses to allow TFA to recruit in his classes. We talked about the inherent problems of such programs that convince college students to go into a broken system for only two years and then leave without looking back. We also talked about how, sometimes, having a position within “the system” can put one in a better position to change the system from within, rather than trying to overthrow the system from the outside. This idea then led us to discuss certain organizations on campus, along with the problems of exclusivity and misconceptions. Overall, it was a really good talk, and I’m looking forward to continuing these discussions in class on Thursday.

Post Spring Break Meeting

Today the EduChicas have come back together in lower Davis to try to pick up from where we left off.  In some ways, our meetings have turned into support sessions for what we’re doing, but in the end we recognize that we have to move forward with what we have and make everything work.  Here are our plans for this week:

-Meet with Steve Sears about our project about education in Slavin.

-Friday we will have our language photovoice session in Ray.

-Anne will go to Ray this week with Taylor to schedule a time to start Spanish language sessions.

-Taylor will let the learners know about the prompt for this Friday’s session: autobiography.

-IRB– we are still unsure about it, so we are each individually going to go over the requirements by Friday and make a final decision then.

-Friday we will also open it up to the learners to see what they are interested in communicating to promote change.

Unrelated–the chorus of this song definitely is about spiderman.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg1JmPj90cY

EduChicas Meeting 02/26

EduChicas met this morning in lower Davis to have our weekly meeting.  It was fairly brief since we just met on Sunday to do our workshop presentation and discuss other CP information.  The main points we went over were:
-IRB thoughts for the undergrad grant:
Is it worth it?  Is the IRB process too difficult for us to do?
Maybe we will purchase cameras with our own money, and then get reimbursed later when we go through IRB?  Will we definitely get the grant if we do the IRB process or is there a chance they will deny us?
We were awarded it, so we don’t want to lose it.  They were excited about our proposal and so were we!  Why turn it down?
We’re thinking of going through with it.  We need to talk to Kara and tom about it though so we can get the ball rolling.
Putting together our powerpoint for the workshop presentation.  We discussed our presentation more and we are looking forward to reading the feedback from AltEcon.

As an aside, I saw Sonia today in Ray and she told me that she couldn’t go this Friday because her vacation days kick in before then so she won’t be around. She told me to check with the other women as their vacation schedules might be different.  On a good note, we may have recruited a new member!  Alma told me to add her to the group, but we’ll see how it goes.  Also, Sue from the deli wants to stop by and see what’s going on with the photovoice class.  I’m liking the curiosity!

All for now!

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