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Creating Environments that Retain, Engage and Transform Learners

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Importance of narrative in the classroom to create a comfortable learning environment. Creating a space where stories come forward. Releasing your voice in the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Creating Environments that Retain, Engage and Transform Learners


1
Creating Environments that Retain, Engage and
Transform Learners
2
Jane Lister Reis, Communications Faculty
Haley Gronbeck, teaching assistant and tutor
Cam Basden, teaching assistant and adult
learner Chris McRae, adult learner Carol
Hamilton, Faculty Emeritus, English
3
Supportive, Emergent, Co-Constructive Based on
Adult Learning Theory (Knowles) Adults are
practical, autonomous and self-directed.
Adults have accumulated a foundation of life
experiences and knowledge that may include
work-related activities, family responsibilities,
and previous education. Adults are
goal-oriented and relevancy-oriented. As
do all learners, adults need to be shown respect.

Carol Jane
Conner, M. L. "How Adults Learn." Ageless
Learner, 1997-2007. http//agelesslearner.com/intr
os/adultlearning.html 
4
Requirement of AA degree since 1990s -
General Education Outcome Integrated Learning
Research on student learning and retention in
college and cohort community Integrated
Studies Committee led by a faculty member -
Faculty Development Connections/Collaboration/Cohe
sion
5

For Student Learning Retention Students
find connections across disciplines Learn to
communicate in seminars through writing
discussion/ Ask so what in speaking and
writing Cohorts form, integrative assignments
challenge, diversity explored through texts
and purpose Look at a public and relevant
issue for their ongoing lives
6
Beginnings Sustaining Our Identity and Culture
in a Multicultural Society An
interdisciplinary 10-credit, 11-week evening
course Fall 2010 combining Freshman English
Comp (ENGL 101- 102) American Literature and
Society (ENGL 265), Small Group Communication
 (CMST230) Intercultural Communication  (HUM10
5)
7
Theme and Problem-based learning Essays
(personal narrative and research-based)
Dialogic student seminars Mini-lectures
Small group discussions Cultural interviews
Final integrative project that addressed a
community issue
All assignments can be found on the course website
8
  • Designing the elements of the course to help
    students experience the different levels of a
    container
  • Politeness - Shared Monologues
  • Shared Experience -- Moving from Me to We
  • Reflective Dialogue Inquiry Analysis
  • Generative Dialogue Making Meaning Together
  • Container Concept as four quadrants from
    William Isaacs. Dialogue and The Art of
    Thinking Together, 1999.

9
Our Educational Paths and How Learning
Communities Changed our Learning and Our Lives
Haley, Cam, and Chris

10
Cams Narrative
  • My experience as both a student and T.A. in
    Coordinated Studies its impact on my life both
    scholastically and privately.
  • Positive and negative experiences in online and
    hybrid classes lack of personal connections and
    importance of human to human dialogue.
  • Communication and its importance inside and
    outside of the classroom.

11
A Community That Cares
  • Establish awareness with students on the 1st day
    of class --this is not a normal class --you will
    be talking about deep issues revolving around
    identity, belonging, and community.
  • Create a sense of openness student to student,
    teacher to student, and student to teacher all
    required for success and enjoyability.
  • Invite stories All class members have a story,
    one that shapes our identity and our
    relationships with one another.
  • Discover empathy it exists in all of us, but
    requires practice.
  • Recognize the class as a living system it
    requires nurturing and attention in order for
    optimal learning to take place.

In a community of care students move from
separateness into a shared experience
12

Haleys Narrative
  • Intersections between Scholarship of Teaching
    Learning (SoTL) and my experience as a T.A.
  • My experience at The Evergreen State College
    community-based, seminar-style learning with
    narrative evaluations
  • Practical applications of alternative learning

13

Diverse Learners Exploring Personal Narrative
and Social Awareness
  • Importance of narrative in the classroom to
    create a comfortable learning environment.
  • Creating a space where stories come forward.
  • Releasing your voice in the classroom creating
    a space for student and teacher connection.
  • Using personal histories to challenge and
    deconstruct dangerous ideas.
  • Developing community and intellectual intimacy by
    understanding ourselves, our history, and the
    stories. around us.

Exploring personal narrative and social awareness
creates a space for reflective dialogue
14
A COMMUNITY OF RELEVANT ENGAGEMENT
  • Completing a project that addresses community
    stimulates
  • scholarship and connection by performing the
    following
  • functions
  • Practical application of course material
  • Exercises analytical and critical thinking
    skills
  • Creates safe learning environment

15
A COMMUNITY OF RELEVANT ENGAGEMENT
  • Empowers learners to take leadership and
    ownership
  • Fosters teambuilding skills
  • Develops connections
  • Provides quantifiable and visible service to
    the community

16
A COMMUNITY OF RELEVANT ENGAGEMENT
  • Developing connections with each other and to the
    college that extend beyond the classroom.  They
    build networks and support groups that can be
    used in future. 
  • Providing a quantifiable and visible service to
    the community which gives the school value to the
    public and gives learners a sense of ownership to
    the school and their work.

Relevant engagement creates opportunity for the
discovery of new knowledge and meaning through
generative dialogue
17
  • Questions for Haley, Cam and Chris?

18
Assessment of learning communities  Learning
communities strengthen student retention and
academic achievement Transformative for
both students and faculty Research shows an
integration of General Education outcomes makes
sense to undergraduate students returning
older college students New designs focusing
on reforming pre-college Math and English
curriculum (Gates Foundation grants and
Washington Center projects)
19
Faculty DevelopmentFaculty at North have
benefitted from Washington Center for Improving
the Quality of Undergraduate Education at
Evergreen State College (alternative
curriculum reform for 30 years)Faculty
learning community (teams of 2-3 faculty create a
course together)to purposefully integrate
disciplinary outcomes Workshops,
conferences, mentoring, faculty exchanges and
teams
20
Course Website and Class Blog Key Handouts
Assignments (on course website) So Do You
Mean? (Virginia Satir) Whats in a Seminar
(Jim Harnish, faculty emeritus, NSCC) Seminar
Video Seminar A Skill Everyone Can Learn"
Seminar Preps (supports careful reading
critical thinking) Personal Narrative
Assignment Essay (creates value and respect)
Cultural Interviews Assignment (listening,
empathy privilege exercises) Final
Integrated Assignment (meeting a community need
as a small group) Annotated Bibliography for
Learning Communities (on blog)20 Tips for
Creating a Transformative Learning Community(on
blog)
21
FINAL QUESTIONS?
Thank you for this opportunity to share our
learning experience with you!
22
Jane Lister Reis jreis_at_sccd.ctc.edu Haley
Gronbeck h.gronbeck_at_gmail.com Cam
Basden cbass13_at_gmail.com Chris
McRae cmcrae21_at_uw.edu Carol Hamilton chamilton_at_n
orthseattle.edu
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