WCCO recently featured Department of Family Social Science professor Bill Doherty in a segment about how much time parents spend with their children.
According to the “Good Question” segment with Heather Brown, moms are spending about four hours a week more with their kids than they did 40 – 50 years ago. Dads are also spending more time with their kids.
“The big thing is interacting with them compared with just being around,” said Doherty.
He said there is no magic formula, but the key is being intentional with your time, and balancing quantity and quality of time.
Department of Family Social Science professor Bill Doherty was recently quoted in a Wall Street Journal article about the importance of doing spontaneous things as a family.
The author of the article tells the story of how she listened to her 10-year old son when he said he wanted to go from Pittsburgh to Cleveland to see the victory parade for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who won the 2016 NBA Championship.
Despite the crowds, booked hotel rooms, and the heat, the family took an impromptu road trip from Philadelphia to Cleveland for one reason: it would be memorable.
While parenting is often about structure and setting limits, “sometimes it’s good to say ‘what the heck’, and break out of what we normally do,” Doherty said.
He also said, “The thing about spontaneous family events is that they are a bit over the top. That is what makes them memorable.”
In a recent Star Tribune article about how kids spend their summers, Family Social Science associate professor Jodi Dworkin says it’s okay for kids to be bored.
Every year, parents in Minnesota face the quandary of what to do with their children during the summer, when school is not in session, according to a recent Star Tribune article.
For parents of young children there are many options, like day care or summer camp, but for parents of “tweens” (ages approximately from 12 to 15), summer can be a challenge. Tweens are too old for day care, but too young to work.
As a result, parents try to fill summers with activities for tweens, which are often expensive, to keep them active, off their phones, and out of trouble.
However, Dworkin says despite the pressure parents feel to fill up their kids’ summers with enriching activities, it’s OK for them to be bored, too.
“Allowing your children to be bored not only gives them a chance to be creative, it also gives them a chance to refresh and get ready for another school year,” she said.
The project investigates homeless youth’s perceptions of their education and employment interests, needs, and potential interventions. This award will bring together the Office to End Homelessness (OEH) and FSOS to give voice to youth interests and desires.
Lesa Clarkson, associate professor of mathematics education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, was honored with the INSIGHT into Diversity 2016 Inspiring Women in STEM Award and will be featured in the September issue of INSIGHT into Diversity magazine. The award honors “remarkable women in STEM professions who continue to make a significant difference through mentoring and teaching, research, successful programs and initiatives, and other efforts worthy of national recognition.”
Clarkson’s research agenda focuses on mathematics in the urban classroom, specifically identifying successful strategies that increase student achievement primarily among underrepresented student groups. She focuses on African-American students, specifically, because this group of students historically has the lowest scores on the national and state assessments. Clarkson believes, “The color of a student’s skin is not correlated to their achievement in mathematics.”
Clarkson’s research aims to find best practices that will provide all students with engaging mathematics experiences in addition to the basic “tools” that are essential for students.
Each year, the Institute on Diversity, Equity and Advocacy grants Multicultural Research Awards that “transform the University by enhancing the visibility and advancing the productivity of an interdisciplinary group of faculty and community scholars whose expertise in equity, diversity, and underrepresented populations will lead to innovative scholarship and teaching that addresses urgent social issues.” Associate Professor in Curriculum & Instruction, J.B. Mayo, Jr., received one of the prestigious grants for his proposal to integrate LGBTQ history into the social studies curriculum that covers the Harlem Renaissance.
The research project entitled “Uncovering Queer Spaces During the Harlem Renaissance” is aimed at breaking the silence within social studies education about LGBT people, themes, and histories. Mayo plans to engage intersectional realities that include race, gender, and sexual orientation while helping teachers to be more inclusive of LGBT people, themes, and histories within their social studies classes.
Another goal of Mayo’s research is to allow LGBT students, and particularly queer students of color, to see themselves positively represented. He plans to conduct intensive archival research this summer in Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Black Culture to find the stories of gay artists of color working during the Harlem Renaissance. He will then co-create an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum with local social studies teachers that center on the chosen artists’ work and identities. The finished curriculum will be field tested in area social studies classes. Mayo plans to observe the lessons as they are taught and follow-up with interviews with the participating teachers and selected students to discuss their impressions and to gather their perceptions of the impact of these lessons, which are aimed at not only changing young people’s views of history, but diminishing homophobia within communities of color and in society more generally.
Tracey Hammell and Don Riley, academic advisers in CEHD student services, presented this month at the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region 6 Conference in Omaha. Their presentation — “Microaggressions: Did that just really happen?” — examined what steps can be taken to understand and limit microaggressions in our own way of being as well as creating awareness of microaggressions with others.
Hannah Jacobs, a master’s student in the school psychology program, has accepted a Minority Fellowship Program Fellowship in Services for Transition Age Youth (STAY)! with the American Psychological Association (APA). Through this fellowship, Hannah will receive a $6,000 stipend for one year in addition to trainings, professional development, mentoring, and lifetime access to the APA’s network of over 1,700 fellows.
Now in its third year, the MFP STAY! Fellowship is awarded through a federal grant to the APA form the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
FSOS department head, Lynne Borden, recently traveled to Washington, D.C. for an event with Joining Forces.
As part of the event titled, “Operation Educate the Educators: Sharing Successes and Setting Sights for the Future,” Dr. Borden met Dr. Jill Biden.
Joining Forces is an organization that works on behalf of military families. In addition to her duties as department head, Dr. Borden also runs the REACH lab, which also focuses on helping military families.
The play, titled Saplings, deals with the role of stress, health and education in the lives of African American youth. The first part of the play is based on Gibson’s research about African American grandmother caregivers and how they are affected when the grandchildren they are raising are suspended from school. The second part features the experiences of parents of African American children and is based on the research of Sonya S. Brady, associate professor in the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, into factors that affect the well-being and future success of African American youth.
University faculty, students and teaching artists used Gibson and Brady’s research findings to craft the “scripted facilitation” play which raises issues about race, school suspensions, and relationships between families and school staff. Organizers hope that Friday’s performance will be viewed by many social work and education students and professionals who will participate in a discussion afterward. The goal of the discussion is to generate respectful dialogue about school discipline policies and to create opportunities to bridge the gaps between institutions of learning and the communities that they serve.
The play and discussion are scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Nolte Experimental Theatre in Rarig. Parking vouchers will be offered and food and refreshments will be provided after the performance. Audience members who participate in the discussions after the performance will receive a $25 gift card. Please RSVP here.
Other organizations involved in the project are the African American Resource Center in collaboration with the University’s Institute for Advanced Study and the Imagine Fund.
Department of Family Social Science associate Professor Joyce Serido teamed up with Extension educators across the state to create a pilot program that helps students and families make better choices about financing higher education.
The program began in January, and Serido will meet with Extension educators in February to fine tune the program to make it accessible to various groups statewide.
In a MinnPost article, Department of Family Social Science associate professor Jenifer McGuire stressed the importance of an inclusive approach when it comes to gender, and said the sooner we can talk to children regarding gender, the better.
Over the past decade, Center researchers have conducted dozens of campus racial climate studies at predominantly white postsecondary institutions across the United States. In response to recent college student protests, the Center is offering a special four-part Virtual PennSummitthat will help higher education administrators and faculty better understand and respond more effectively to racism on their campuses. Educators can register for a single online module or for the full series.
Professor Shaun R. Harper, founder and executive director of the Center, will lead these four modules in the Virtual PennSummit:
December 7 – MODULE 1: HOW PEOPLE OF COLOR EXPERIENCE RACISM ON CAMPUS – Center researchers will present data from campus racial climate studies we have conducted with students, faculty, and staff members of color at predominantly white institutions across the nation. Specific examples of people’s routine encounters with racial microaggressions and overt forms of racism on a wide range of campuses will be furnished. We will also help Penn Summit participants understand the persistence, pervasiveness, and undercurrents of racial problems that students of color are presently protesting.
December 9 – MODULE 2: RACE-CONSCIOUS INSTITUTIONAL LEADERSHIP– This module will focus on what campus leaders must do to more effectively respond to racism on campus. Emphasis will be placed on listening to and feeling what people of color say about their racialized experiences; reflecting on one’s own racial identity and prior racial socialization; and understanding what race-conscious institutional leadership entails. Leaders holding themselves and colleagues with whom they work more accountable for actualizing institutional missions and fostering inclusive campus environments will also be emphasized.
December 14 – MODULE 3: RACE-CONSCIOUSNESS IN CLASSROOMS AND CURRICULA: STRATEGIES FOR COLLEGE FACULTY – Topics in this module will include: creating inclusive classroom environments for students from all racial and ethnic groups; productively raising race questions and seemingly difficult topics in class discussions; making good educational use of racial tensions that arise between students in classroom conversations and in group work; and thoughtfully integrating racial topics and scholars of color into curricula across academic fields. Attention will also be paid to being more self-reflective and race-conscious in one’s approaches to teaching and learning.
December 16 – MODULE 4: STRATEGICALLY IMPROVING CAMPUS RACIAL CLIMATES – In this module, strategies will be presented for assessing and proactively addressing racial climate problems before they erupt in protest, or lead to marginalization and high attrition rates among students and employees of color. Presenters will engage participants in a strategic planning exercise focused on three levels: individual self, organizational unit (e.g., office, department/division, academic school), and the larger college/university campus. This planning exercise will help participants identify immediate and longer-term strategic actions for their specific contexts.
Content for each virtual module will be delivered live via Google Hangout . To bolster engagement, participants will be encouraged to pose questions through Facebook, Twitter, and Google Hangout. Presenters will periodically read and respond aloud to questions posed by persons tuned into the live broadcast.
There is no registration deadline. Please be sure to purchase a ticket for each module in which you intend to participate. Because the Institute is virtual, a webcam is required for participation. Please direct all inquiries about the PennSummit on Responding to Racism on College and University Campuses to firstname.lastname@example.org or (215) 898-7820.
There is no perfect way to craft this note to you and be free from all critique, the appearance of unnecessary bias, or the possibility of offending. Ironically, the quest to be correct, neutral, and safe in our current context requires the falsifying of premises that are very painful to accept as truth. Trying to wait to find that perfect voice, the perfect words or a perfect time to say ANYTHING is implicitly agreeing to take a biased and potentially offending stance. Given the complexity of human cognition and emotion and the varied impact thoughts and feelings can have on affect and behavior, continuing to endorse being silent borders on neglect.
A week ago, I watched the national nightly news with my 7th grade son. The coverage of the Jamar Clark shooting in North Minneapolis began to fill our home. My son was only partially attending to the news until he heard, “North Minneapolis.” I’ll never forget the next sequence of events as his eyes widened while they simultaneously focused on this local, national news story. My son slowly turned to me with a confused, yet subtly critical question for me, “Is this happening now?” He already knew the answer to that question, but what he respectfully and maturely embedded in that confused, critical question was, “Why aren’t we talking about this one?” Over time, we’ve talked about, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, I Can’t Breathe, Ferguson, Charleston and the Missouri Football team. We’ve talked about Paris, Syria and even the change in U.S./Cuba diplomatic relationships. Yet, on this particular local, national story, I was embarrassingly silent.
Was it because I was afraid he would ask why I’m not a part of the 4th precinct protests and my answer would weaken his trust in me as reliable social commentator? Was it because I didn’t want to land too firmly on one side just in case a new fact could weaken my stance? Was it because it’s easier to be vocal when it’s happening to a neighbor’s house, but less so when it’s my own backyard? I finally presented the facts like a good fair and balanced reporter. His first response was, “So they shot him in the head?” We proceeded to have the all too normal, deeper conversation. Perhaps it doesn’t really matter the reason why I was silent. Because in my silence, I neglected to see my son as an affected, connected and important person who needed to hear my voice long before he heard it first on the national news. I assumed or maybe hoped my silence would go unnoticed.
A college-aged black male was shot and killed by a person sworn to protect and serve. Witnesses said Jamar Clark was handcuffed when shot. The president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis challenged the witnesses to repeat their statements under a federal investigation. As a black male, I’m worried that those who are concerned about blanket accusations made against all police officers will want to minimize the facts or construct an explanation that is safer to process. I feel as though if I’m shot and killed by a police officer, too many will search for a reason to justify the homicide to avoid engaging in the possibility that deadly force was not the best option in my death. As a father of six black males, I’m worried that those who are uncomfortable or annoyed with the Black Lives Matter movement will take their frustrations out on my sons if any of them express an opinion that appears to align with black lives mattering.
There are students, staff, and faculty in our college who are being directly impacted by an understandably overwhelming series of local, national and global events. We encourage you to find time to be supportive and caring, to be incorrect, to be biased and to even take risks in connecting with others to share your voices as we imperfectly find the appropriate way to not neglect this current…………messiness. Hopefully, we can perfect the art of becoming comfortable imperfectly addressing when policing, passion, prejudice, protection, patriotism and politics intersect with varying degrees of apathy.
CEHD Student Services advisers Faustina Cuevas and Tracey Hammell presented at the 2015 Overcoming Racism: Vigilance Now! conference at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. Cuevas and Hammell’s presentation — “Microaggressions: Did that just really happen?” — examined microaggressions’ role in society and their effect on people. Cuevas and Hammell discussed what steps can be taken to understand and limit microaggressions in our own way of being as well as creating awareness of microaggressions with others. Using case studies and lived experiences, they also facilitated a discussion with attendees to engage in a meaningful dialogue.
During civil unrest in Burma, Lydia Thai Thai’s father fled to Thailand where she was born in 1995. Eight years later her family was one of the first waves of immigrants to move to a refugee camp in central Thailand. While in the camp, her father started a school and Lydia volunteered at the school teaching children and learning at the same time. “I didn’t know much English, but I started picking up the language while assisting the teachers,” Lydia recalls.
When her family moved to the United States in 2008, Lydia began attending Humboldt Junior High School in St. Paul. As a seventh grader she worried the language barrier would pose a problem interacting with classmates, but her concerns quickly dissipated as she encountered her fellow students. “I was put into an ELL class with many newcomers,” she says. “The class was diverse, but I met a lot of people who spoke the same language as me. It made me more comfortable.”
In high school, Lydia began playing tennis with the Saint Paul Urban Tennis (SPUT), a program that uses the sport to help youth develop character by learning responsibility, teamwork, integrity and service. After her first year with the program, she was invited to coach younger players. “I just love the kids there,” she says. “Not just teaching tennis, but teaching the life skills.”
A sophomore in CEHD, Lydia was accepted to other colleges but chose the University because it was closer to home. As the oldest child, Lydia takes responsibility for translating documents and running errands for her family since her parents don’t speak English very well. As a student, she feels added responsibility to her family. “Being the first in a family to go to college is a lot of pressure,” she says. “If you come from a family where parents or relatives never went to college, they don’t know what college is like and that there are many careers to choose from.” Knowing that many parents of first-generation students want their children to go to medical school or law school, Lydia offers this advice: “A lot of first-generation students should give themselves the opportunity to explore…finding out what you like to do is important.”
As a first-generation student, Lydia credits the TRIO program and PsTL’s First Year Experience in helping her succeed during her freshman year. “FYE and PsTL classes helped me build a community and prepared me for future classes,” she says. “The TRIO class gave me a chance to learn where everyone is coming from…to understand their cultures…it was a very diverse group and I really liked it.”
One-on-one tutoring from PsTL’s Rhiannon Williams helped Lydia understand class assignments and gain access to resources she didn’t know existed like the Writing Center. SPUT Executive Director Becky Cantellano also serves as a mentor for Lydia, giving her resources and opportunities to explore career paths. Of the four SPUT life skills, the one that resonates most strongly with Lydia is service. She believes in giving back.
Despite a busy class schedule, she volunteers at the Hubbs Center in St. Paul helping adults learn English. “I was once an immigrant and didn’t know English, so for me to help adults is really easy,” she says. “I understand the struggles of trying to learn a new language and I can give them advice and resources.”
In addition to school, SPUT and volunteering, Lydia works with children at the El Rio Vista Recreation Center’s after school program. She also runs their summer and winter break programs. She is responsible for organizing homework help, and planning activities such as field trips, crafts, swimming and playtime in the gym. “I’ve had a lot of advantages getting to a lead a program at 20 years old,” says Lydia. “I want to make it the best year ever so they’ll be back next year.”
Her experiences with children in the camps, at SPUT and the El Rio Vista Rec Center reinforce Lydia’s desire to pursue social work, even though her parents suggest otherwise. “I told them, ‘I’m going to give this a try. You just watch me, this is a good career.’”
Reflecting on her twenty years of teaching and her long-term goals for pedagogy and practice, Linda Buturian (PsTL) explains why the learning abroad program she developed in partnership with Cathy Solheim (FSoS) epitomizes her ongoing quest.
“Thailand comes the closest to my ideal of a teaching and learning environment: Engaging in socially relevant topics in an applied experiential learning in a small community that’s interactive with communities, and in natural places,” says Buturian.
Buturian has been trying to recreate what she experienced as an undergraduate while living and studying in community with a handful of peers and professors in the mountains of Oregon. “We lived in cabins and studied the big ideas together,” she recalls. “We read Jacques Ellul’s The Technological Society then traveled to San Francisco and experienced it. We read Annie Dillard and Wendell Berry, discussed the importance of wilderness, then backpacked into the Three Sisters in the Oregon Cascades.
During three weeks in May of 2015, Buturian and Solheim brought 20 students to Thailand to study the impact of globalization on environmental sustainability, economic and family well-being and community development as it relates to changes along the Mekong River. The program braids Buturian’s research on and interest in international rivers and her experience using digital stories for teaching and learning, with Solheim’s extensive knowledge of Thai culture and family social sciences scholarship. “To design a course with Cathy and experience this transformative learning with the students was profound to me.”
While in Thailand, the curriculum involved fieldwork, individual student blog posts and a group blog project. Buturian and Solheim wanted topics for the group project to emerge from the trip’s main activities:
Visiting with the students at the Suksasongkroh Chiang Dao School, a boarding school that provides children from some of the poorest hill villages a chance to escape human trafficking and poverty;
Interacting with students and community leaders at the Mekong River School, which is dedicated to helping young people maintain and learn about their cultural traditions, including protecting and cherishing the natural environment and resources of the Mekong River;
And, a homestay at Mae Kampong, a strong village community that derives income from tea, coffee and its eco-homestay program.
An unexpected and emotional connection occurred during a discussion with one of the tour guides, Eve. She shared her personal stories about the effects of human trafficking on her family and friends. Eve grew up in northern Thailand in the Golden Triangle in a poor area and told the students about aunts, cousins and friends who were sold into sex trafficking operations in Bangkok. Many have died of HIV. Eve’s mother encouraged her to “be the best” at her school and Eve received a scholarship as the top girl in her class that allowed her to elude this fate. The second ranked girl was trafficked and later died.
To unpack the broad subject of globalization and identify group blog topics, the class held a three-hour meeting. “We had some ideas of what the topics would be, but we wanted the students to choose and articulate them and group themselves based on their interests,” says Buturian. As a class, they settled on: globalization and human trafficking; globalization and its impact on the environment, primarily on the Mekong River and the villagers who live along the river; and, globalization and education. The topic of Buddhism also emerged based on an engaging talk presented by a Hmong Buddhist monk in Chang Mai. Coalescing around interest, students combined research, interviews, reflections and images to develop their group blogs. This work set the stage for the final individual project to be completed once the students returned home: a digital story reflecting on what they learned through their experiences.
Buturian, who has been using digital stories since 2008, defines them as 5-10 minute movies students create and share online, using images, audio and text. She realized the level of student engagement with the genre early on: recognizing it harnesses students’ visual knowledge while also providing a shareable end product. “I started to gather the research as to why digital stories were working,” says Buturian. Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy, which classifies creating as higher-order thinking, helped to shed light on why creating the digital story is both challenging and potentially transformative. “This is a creating act. This is why it is both hard and rewarding.”
The students’ digital stories incorporate personal reflections and photographs from their time in Thailand. Buturian and Solheim were mindful to assign the digital story once students had returned to campus to ensure the students weren’t sidetracked by technology and miss chances to learn and connect while in Thailand.
“Students will be navigating the complex challenges and opportunities that come along with globalization,” says Buturian. “As teachers, it is incumbent upon us to provide hopeful, collaborative models and experiences to help students not only envision more sustainable and just societies, but to realize the power and joy of participating in creating those communities.”
Thailand 2015 student blogs and digital stories can be found here.