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Connecting Social Capital to Learning


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Connecting Social Capital to learning, work and community.

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Connecting Social Capital to Learning

  1. 1. By: Lois Peters and Saskia Stinson
  2. 2. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities “Reaffirming the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and the need for persons with disabilities to be guaranteed their full enjoyment without Discrimination”
  3. 3. Creating a Paradigm Shift  Social Capital- networks and relationships that create social cohesion (Bourdieu 1986) Inclusion Marginalization
  4. 4. Hypothesis Postsecondary programs and curriculum for people with cognitive disabilities that provide experiences for students, that establish social capital, will serve to create a sustainable shift for employment success and inclusion in the community.
  5. 5. Conceptual framework Global- UN Human Rights Provincial-BC Schools: Diversity Framework & CLBC QOL Construct/Community Employment Action Plan Postsecondary-TRU ESTR Program- classes, labs, practicums
  6. 6. Educational Theory Constructivist Theory: Levi Vygotsky (1962) Knowledge Construction is linked to how individuals interact with the world around them, both materially and socially. Learning is an active and socially mediated experience. (Ebgo, 2009, p.19-20)
  7. 7. Theory Human Capital (Smith, 1776, Hansen 1970) skills and knowledge Social Capital(Bourdieau, 1986, Putman, 2000) relationships
  8. 8. Social Capital Bourdieu (1986) defined social capital as resources, both tangible and symbolic, that create connectedness to society via social networks Other types of capital: human economic cultural symbolic Habitus How a person goes about living their daily life and interacts with other forms of capital Quality of Life (QOL) Construct Dr. R.L. Schalock overriding principal to enhance an individual’s well-being Field contextual environment where a person lives and goes about their daily life Postsecondary Education, Employment and Community
  9. 9. What we know Human Capital Inclusion Social Capital ESTR Program
  10. 10. Observations… Some of our students are more successful in gaining and sustaining employment Social relationships and life style are impacted in a positive way Why?
  11. 11. ASE Outcomes Survey (2007) Made me more confident in myself – opened me up tto what is out there – for employment. Helped me think I can get a job and keep it. Made new friends. Made me less shy.
  12. 12. What we are beginning to know Acknowledge intangibles:  self-determination (Seaton, 2012) empowerment  self-confidence (Eldred, Ward, & Dutton, 2004) belief in one’s self  inclusion in community (Reynolds 1988) access and participation
  13. 13. What we are beginning to know  We are also beginning to know that these intangibles are and expression of a person’s well being.  And that they impact on a persons happiness with life as a whole
  14. 14. Where students experience social capital outcomes  Formal Networks within the classroom  Networks with instructors  Long-term networks with other students (Balatti, et al 2007)  Networks to TRU campus life  Networks to workplace through labs and practicum
  15. 15. Professional Networks  Establish and re-establish community connections  Presenting at internal functions Teaching and Learning Colloquium  Language Culture and Community Summer Research Institute  Collaborative Projects with other departments  Taking practicum students from other programs  VIP Luncheon
  16. 16. New Life Mission Project  Interdisciplinary project with HUMS Program  Peer driven and faculty supported  Networking with students in other program  Strengthening relationships with community groups  Outcomes
  17. 17. Technology and social media
  18. 18. Digital Stories  Students connecting with seniors to learn about their life and work history  Integration of technology using i-Pads and PPT  Article written reflecting the experience of participants in the project
  19. 19. What we have yet to know  How to measure the intangibles (Personal Wellbeing Index; Catching Confidence Tool)  How to teach students to build networks: students, campus, employer, service providers and broader community  How to use social media: FB /Twitter/TRU Website  How to integrate technology: cell phones; audio visual; podcasts, iPad and SMART Board
  20. 20. Future Research  Case Studies - An Intercultural Dialogue: Multiple Case Studies of Adults with Cognitive Disabilities in Mexico and Canada  Interviews – Experiment with Personal Wellbeing Index and Catching Confidence Tool
  21. 21. Questions  What kinds of professional networks do participants have that support and enhance your programs and services?  How are participants here using social media and technology to establish networks (social capital)?  What kinds of program and service changes could be used to enhance a student’s formal and informal networks?