Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Pedablogy-How My Students Changed the World This Semester

This semester I had my students pick a problem in the world and implement a project to fix it. Then on top of that, they had to blog 2000 words per week about specific issues related to the class and their project. I am very happy with the results, and I honestly feel that the world really is a better place because of this project. Many students did a great job on this, and I thought about posting links to the entries of all those who received an A. Some students educated the public about HIV/AIDS, others worked with battered women, or tried to lower college tuition, some sought to increase political awareness. One student even tried and succeeded to increase critical thinking in the area. Part of this project involved writing letters. Several students wrote to Dr Francis, the president of our university, and I know that he was impressed with several of these letters and even met with a couple of students about their plan to fix a problem. In the end the students became better writers, and learned that changing the world is difficult, but with determination it is possible. I also think they saw the connection between biblical authors trying to change their own worlds in antiquity and the student projects. But in the end I thought it best if I only post one link to the project of one remarkable student. This student recognized the problem of poor education in New Orleans, and in association with the Chemistry Club here at Xavier, implemented a Saturday program with local Junior Highs to teach science to 8th graders in an effort to improve their test scores on a standardized text known as LEAP. It was one of many great projects, and it was such a treat to read their reflections. It gives me hope for the future of this country and the world, something I desperately needed.

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