What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Studentby: Rebekah Nathan<br />My Freshman Year<br />Presented by:<br />Stephanie H...
About the Author<br />Rebekah Nathan: Pseudonym for Cathy Small <br />Anthropology professor at Northern Arizona Universit...
The Study<br />Enrolled in the university she taught at as a freshman to observe and understand student life.<br />She liv...
Purpose of the Study<br />Shift towards student-centered universities.<br />Nathan/Small felt she did not understand her s...
A Vision of Students Today<br />
Identified Problems<br />Nathan/Small observed a disconnect on college campus in three major areas: <br />Students & Stude...
Disconnect Between Students & Faculty<br />Lack of faculty understanding about student life<br />Why don’t students utiliz...
Students have other classes!<br />Time (college) management difficulties<br />Prioritizing other assignments from other pr...
Average Life of a College Student<br />Class preparation time: 12 hours 15 minutes per week.  <br />Hours spent socializin...
Realizations<br />Re-defining the “good” student<br />Cannot assume students can do all readings all the time<br />Provide...
Poll<br />How often do you visit your professor during office hours and for what reason?<br />a. Very Often  - I utilize o...
Disconnect Between Students & Other Students<br />Contradictory Efforts to Build Community<br />The “I” in community<br />...
Contradictory Efforts to Build Community<br />Force community by eliminating choice<br />Common Read<br />Get Involved: El...
How involved in on-campus activities were you during your undergraduate studies?<br />Very Involved—I was busy every night...
Difficulties of Building Community<br />There is an “I” in community<br />Paradox—connectivity and protection also seem tr...
Early encounters & relationships reinforce biases<br />“White-spaces”<br />Importance of minority ethnic clubs<br />Don’t ...
International Perspectives<br />Formal Interview Discoveries<br />American students develop “casual friendliness”<br />Min...
Realizations<br />Researcher doesn’t offer solutions to these problems, perhaps because they are out of her area of expert...
Disconnection Between Students & Academics<br /> Dorm Discussions vs. Classroom Discussion<br /> The Definition of a Good ...
Dorm vs. Class Discussions<br />CLASS DISCUSSIONS<br /> What happens in class, stays in class<br /> Lack of participation<...
Definition of a Good Class<br />TO THE PROFESSOR<br /> “Open”<br /> Class functions as a community<br /> Lots of feedback ...
Poll<br />As an undergraduate, the “perfect class” to you would have been one that required little to no effort that ultim...
Ethics in the Classroom<br /> Prevalence of Cheating<br />Traditional & Online Classes<br />Justifications for Cheating<br...
Realization<br /> Intellectual topics don’t carry much importance or relevance<br /> Transition from freshman to senior st...
Conclusion<br />After completing the study, Nathan developed a new understanding of the challenges facing today’s college ...
Who Should Read This Book?<br />University employees in all capacities:<br />Faculty<br />Student Affairs Professionals<br...
Questions?<br />
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My Freshman Year

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My Freshman Year

  1. 1. What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Studentby: Rebekah Nathan<br />My Freshman Year<br />Presented by:<br />Stephanie Hawkes | Tommie Hayes-Fonder | Sharon Moreli<br />
  2. 2. About the Author<br />Rebekah Nathan: Pseudonym for Cathy Small <br />Anthropology professor at Northern Arizona University for 15 years.<br />49 years-old at time of study in 2002<br />Published in 2005 <br />
  3. 3. The Study<br />Enrolled in the university she taught at as a freshman to observe and understand student life.<br />She lived in the residence halls for 1 year, ate on campus, and attended on-campus activities. <br />Tried to immerse herself in student activities as much as possible. <br />
  4. 4. Purpose of the Study<br />Shift towards student-centered universities.<br />Nathan/Small felt she did not understand her students and wanted to:<br />“see how student culture articulates with the institution of the American university, including the vision we have of it, its mission and its future”<br />(Nathan, p. 5) <br />
  5. 5. A Vision of Students Today<br />
  6. 6. Identified Problems<br />Nathan/Small observed a disconnect on college campus in three major areas: <br />Students & Students<br />Students & Faculty<br />Students & Academics<br />
  7. 7. Disconnect Between Students & Faculty<br />Lack of faculty understanding about student life<br />Why don’t students utilize office hours?<br />Why don’t students recall discussions from previous classes?<br />Why don’t students complete reading assignments?<br />I’m here to help! <br />
  8. 8. Students have other classes!<br />Time (college) management difficulties<br />Prioritizing other assignments from other professors<br />Students have other commitments<br />Work<br />Extra-curricular activities<br />Realizations<br />
  9. 9. Average Life of a College Student<br />Class preparation time: 12 hours 15 minutes per week. <br />Hours spent socializing: 2.88 hours per day.<br />Hours working: 15 (from 6 to 25 hours) per week.<br />
  10. 10. Realizations<br />Re-defining the “good” student<br />Cannot assume students can do all readings all the time<br />Provide students with relevant readings that will have a direct and immediate use.<br />Prompt students by signaling that assigned readings will be a part of class discussion<br />
  11. 11. Poll<br />How often do you visit your professor during office hours and for what reason?<br />a. Very Often - I utilize office hours to make sure I am on track<br />b. Occasionally – I utilize office hours when I have been absent<br />c. Rarely – I utilize office hours only when I am in trouble in the class<br />d. Never – I don’t utilize office hours due to my class schedule<br />
  12. 12. Disconnect Between Students & Other Students<br />Contradictory Efforts to Build Community<br />The “I” in community<br />Difficulties of Building Diversity<br />International Perspectives<br />
  13. 13. Contradictory Efforts to Build Community<br />Force community by eliminating choice<br />Common Read<br />Get Involved: Elective participation<br />Plethora of activities compete with personal time<br />Difficulties of Building Community<br />
  14. 14. How involved in on-campus activities were you during your undergraduate studies?<br />Very Involved—I was busy every night of the week!<br />Somewhat Involved—I was in a club or two and attended a few campus activities.<br />Sports only—I had no interest in other activities.<br />Nah, I was too focused on academics to try (or want) to be involved. <br />Poll<br />
  15. 15. Difficulties of Building Community<br />There is an “I” in community<br />Paradox—connectivity and protection also seem trapping<br />Community is a choice<br />Community spaces used to isolate<br />Sub-communities <br />Small groups of friends <br />
  16. 16. Early encounters & relationships reinforce biases<br />“White-spaces”<br />Importance of minority ethnic clubs<br />Don’t isolate students<br />Difficulties of Building Diversity<br />
  17. 17. International Perspectives<br />Formal Interview Discoveries<br />American students develop “casual friendliness”<br />Minorities were easier to befriend<br />Self-centered and independent<br />Ignorant<br />Informal classroom & easier curriculum<br />
  18. 18. Realizations<br />Researcher doesn’t offer solutions to these problems, perhaps because they are out of her area of expertise. <br />Purpose of study was to understand culture and discover problems, not necessarily to provide solutions. <br />
  19. 19. Disconnection Between Students & Academics<br /> Dorm Discussions vs. Classroom Discussion<br /> The Definition of a Good Class<br /> The “Perfect” Balance<br /> Ethics in the Classroom <br />
  20. 20. Dorm vs. Class Discussions<br />CLASS DISCUSSIONS<br /> What happens in class, stays in class<br /> Lack of participation<br /> Not so “good debaters” <br />DORM DISCUSSIONS<br />Lively<br />Topics of discussion rarely include those pertaining to academia<br />Complaints about workload or professors<br />
  21. 21. Definition of a Good Class<br />TO THE PROFESSOR<br /> “Open”<br /> Class functions as a community<br /> Lots of feedback & discussion<br />TO THE STUDENT<br />Easy Professor to get an “easy A”<br />
  22. 22. Poll<br />As an undergraduate, the “perfect class” to you would have been one that required little to no effort that ultimately resulted in an easy A. <br />True<br />False<br />
  23. 23. Ethics in the Classroom<br /> Prevalence of Cheating<br />Traditional & Online Classes<br />Justifications for Cheating<br /> Workload or assignment was considered “unfair”<br /> The class did not relate to students’ major<br /> Different definitions of cheating<br />
  24. 24. Realization<br /> Intellectual topics don’t carry much importance or relevance<br /> Transition from freshman to senior state of mind<br /> Mastery of navigating through college, not necessarily mastery of content<br />
  25. 25. Conclusion<br />After completing the study, Nathan developed a new understanding of the challenges facing today’s college students.<br />She notes at the end of her book that students and teachers need to be aware of the issues and conflicting messages present in higher education to have of a voice that can affect how “the modern university will unfold”<br />(Nathan, p. 156) <br />
  26. 26. Who Should Read This Book?<br />University employees in all capacities:<br />Faculty<br />Student Affairs Professionals<br />Higher Education Administration<br />Parents<br />Available at amazon.com for approximately $10<br />
  27. 27. Questions?<br />

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