2003-2004 Carnegie Scholars

Work on the Seminar

During 2003-2004, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College entered into a collaboration in support of the scholarship of teaching and learning, and the study of liberal education. The Center of Inquiry provided support for eight designated Center of Inquiry/Carnegie Scholars working through the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL). These Scholars worked together to invent and share new models for teaching, learning, and research in liberal education with particular emphasis on the study of the academic seminar. Below you will find brief summaries of their projects, along with links to their final project snapshots.

The Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

The Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and learning represents a major initiative of The Carnegie Foundation. Launched in 1998, the program builds on a conception of teaching as scholarly work proposed in the 1990 report, Scholarship Reconsidered, by former Carnegie Foundation President Ernest Boyer, and on the 1997 follow-up publication, Scholarship Assessed, by Charles Glassick, Mary Taylor Huber, and Gene Maeroff. CASTL seeks to support the development of a scholarship of teaching and learning that: fosters significant, long-lasting learning for all students; enhances the practice and profession of teaching, and; brings to faculty members' work as teachers the recognition and reward afforded to other forms of scholarly work.

The Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

A Survey of Multi-section, Trans-disciplinary Courses with a Common Syllabus

Michael Axtell

Wabash College

My project provides a picture of what models are out there for what I am calling a 'common' course. A common course satisfies the following requirements: 1) Required of all or most students; 2) A course not owned by any discipline; 3) A course taught by faculty from across the campus; 4) A seminar-type course where discussion is the primary mode of instruction; 5) The college/university offers most of its courses in formats UNLIKE properties 2)-4) above. The project consists of a 31-question survey completed by course directors from 20 schools representing 22 sequences of 'common' courses plus the syllabi or course schedules for these sequences. The surveys have been compiled into tables that can be viewed at the web-site, as can the survey and the actual responses to the survey. The report seeks to point out a few of the trends that emerged and to point the interested reader to the tables and responses.

Michael Axtell's Final Project Snapshot

Allowing Not-Knowing: Shared Inquiry and the Invitation to Wonder

Jose Alfonso Feito

Saint Mary's College of California

This project investigates how allowing not-knowing is enacted within collaborative student-led seminar discussions. Not-knowing is characterized by a group's ability to defer meaning, tolerate ambiguity, hold divergent perspectives, and postpone closure. A detailed discourse analysis of selected seminar sessions from a small class (n=15) attempts to characterize how students collaboratively negotiate meaning within open-ended discussions of a primary text. Key findings focus on the use of discourse markers, subtle pragmatic maneuvers, underlying epistemological assumptions, and the cognitive impact of non-linear topic patterns.

Jose Feito's Final Project Snapshot

Toward a Model of Student Questioning

Laura Greene

Augustana College

This project seeks to provide an enthnography of student questioning: to describe what kinds of questions students ask most, and to classify the motives behind these questions. Through this, I develop a model of student questioning--one that attempts to explain why students ask the questions they do and what assumptions students have about the questioning process. It further seeks to identify what questioning methods or kinds of questions lead students to deeper understanding and spur them to further intellectual inquiry.

Laura Greene's Final Project Snapshot

Curriculum and Pedagogical Design Elements That Lead to Learning Outcomes

Jim Harnish

North Seattle Community College

I processed qualitative data that I had collected from student surveys to identify what our team-taught, interdisciplinary Coordinated Studies curriculum ("learning communities") produced as specific and significant learning outcomes. In addition I wanted to see if I could identify the curriculum and pedagogical design elements that contributed to these outcomes. In addition to this project work, I took on the leadership of a larger effort to introduce the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning to others which has had significant institutional impact on my campus and beyond.

Jim Harnish's Final Project Snapshot

The Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College

The Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College in Crawfordsville IN serves as a catalyst for reshaping liberal arts education in the 21st century. The work of the Center of Inquiry aims to explore, test and promote the relevance and efficacy of the liberal arts, working with faculty, researchers, and institutions from across the country to better understand and strengthen liberal arts education. The Center of Inquiry helps ensure that the nature and value of a liberal arts education are widely understood and that as a result, the central place of the liberal arts in American higher education will be reestablished.

The Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts (CILA)

Wabash College

Transforming the Culturally Specific Liberal Education Seminar From an Emotional Playground to an Intellectually Shared Learning Community

Jasmin Lambert

The College of William and Mary

Successful seminars are reliant on mutally supportive communication but often in the culturally-specific seminars students feel intimidated about sharing their ideas about the construction of and maintenance of race in the Americas. The goal of my study was to understand how students learn about race and identity-politics/formation in culturally-specific seminars. Specifically, I studied the relationship between critical/analytical skills versus emtional memory and personal narrative skills. I primarily studied their Idea Books (journals) and their final performances. Over the course of the semester, I consulted with a Clinical Psychologist at the College who attended a few class sessions and met with me outside of class to discuss my findings. I also spoke with a specialist in the field of multicultural counseling in the School of Eduation.

Jasmin Lambert's Final Project Snapshot

Raising Metacognitive Awareness Increases Student Responsibility for Learning Process

Wendy Ostroff

Sonoma State University

When students feel a sense of ownership of their learning, the process and content of the learning is more meaningful to them, and perhaps deeper. The purpose of the current project was to increase students metacognitive awareness by asking them to anonymously critique each peers contribution to the seminar, and then to critique their own contribution in light of the feedback they received. It was hypothesized that heightening such awareness might lead students to take more responsibility for their own learning process, thereby leading to greater reflection / engagement, and ultimately, deeper learning.

Wendy Ostroff's Final Project Snapshot

Community, Authority, and Technology in the Seminar

John Ottenhoff

Alma College

How do students in a literature seminar class establish both a sense of community and personal interpretive authority? I attempt to begin answering that question by focusing on the nature of the online discussion in my most recent Shakespeare seminar. Using methods of discourse analysis, augmented by some reflection and discussion from students, I examine the transcript of class discussion in an asynchronous discussion board, looking for patterns of interaction, knowledge building, and shaping of interpretive authority. In asking essentially what happened in the online discussion?, I hope to better understand the dynamics of student discussion about literature and contribute to the emerging body of knowledge about use of technology in teaching and learning.

John Ottenhoff's FInal Project Snapshot

Cultivating Legal Literacy in a Free Speech Class: How Undergraduate Students Develop Deeper Understandings of the Law

David A. Reichard

California State University Monterey Bay

This project examined how undergraduates learn about law in an upper division free speech class. It sought to understand what "deep understanding" of free speech looked like for students, comparing how they made meaning of "free speech" in comparison to instructor expectations. The study also examined the role of student's prior knowledge about law, and whether small seminars, embedded within a larger class, facilitated the development of students' deep understanding. Students prepared for and reflected on seminar discussions through public weblogs, or blogs, that chronoicled their learning process through the semester, providing important SOTL evidence of their learning process.

David Reichard's Final Project Snapshot

This electronic portfolio was created using the KML Snapshot Tool™, a part of the KEEP Toolkit™,
developed at the Knowledge Media Lab of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
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