Kim Jones, assistant professor of anthropology, presented a paper last week at a conference in Washington, DC. A description follows:
Jones, Kimberly M. The Requirements and Limitations of Experiential Learning: Lessons from Minority Student Initiatives in New York City, Panel: Experience-Based Learning and Public Anthropology in the 21st Century University. American Anthropological Association Annual Conference, Washington, DC, November 30-December 2, 2005.
Paper Abstract: Experience-based learning initiatives can provide fertile opportunities for academic anthropologists and their students. They can potentially offer prospects for scholars to practice community service and activism while producing scholarship. They may also allow for fruitful student mentoring opportunities; student research skills and tacit knowledge may be developed through individualized pedagogy. However, there are structural and institutional limitations to these initiatives. Although there may be some potential for service for academic credit, students cross the line of service consumer to service provider in many of these initiatives, requiring compensation in the form of salaries or stipends. While participation in such programs can benefit an academic career, they necessitate many additional hours of faculty service and expenditure on research materials; research funding and course release compensation is required. Finally, such initiatives need careful administration to facilitate adherence to ethical and institutional expectations, maintenance of budgets and program evaluation documents, coordination of research seminars and events, and in fostering the career development of faculty and students. In 2003-2004 I worked for two NIH-sponsored experience-based learning programs at City University of New York campuses: as a program administrator of the Minority Access to Research Careers program at York College, and as a faculty mentor in the Research Initiative for Minority Students program at Queensborough Community College. The achievements and limitations of these programs will be described, discussing how these experiences have informed the inclusion of North American and Brazilian student research assistants in my current project on women’s work in public healthcare in Brazil.