The Carroll-Cleveland Philosophers’ Program: A Model for the Henry Avenue Learning Center- Women’s Center Philosophers’ Club A presentation for the International conference on New Philosophical Practices UNESCO : 15th and 16th of November, 2006“Philosophy as educational and cultural practice:a new citizenship” and the Charlottesville City School Board, February 17, 2011presented by Kathy Harris, Rhonda Pedigo, Jennifer Merritt, and Loren Intolubbe-Chmil
CCPP Mission The mission of the Carroll Cleveland Philosophers’ Program is to provide for under-served children and children at risk of court-adjudication an alternative educational curriculum which will, through unique and enriching learning experiences, combat recidivism, inspire self-discipline, engage the mind and the imagination in the love of learning, promote academic excellence, encourage and support emotional growth and development, enable giftedness, and encourage and support the social skills necessary for life-long achievement, success and happiness.
CCPP Program History:A Partnership Between John Carroll University, The University of Virginia and The Cleveland Municipal Schools • 4 year middle school program: 2000-2004, 15 students/year • Served court-adjudicated students from Cleveland Municipal School District • State Curriculum plus focus on: • Philosophy Discussion • Service Learning • Gifted Education – Enrichment Triad Model • New Program 2004/6: weekly program serving 40 CMSD high school students SPECIFICALLY with philosophy, service learning and art enrichment • Margaret Ireland School (Students at-risk of dropping out/academic and behavior deficits) • Cleveland School of the Arts (Accelerated Art Program) • 4 evaluations conducted by faculty and staff of the NRC at the University of Virginia
Program Goals • Increase academic achievement among student population as evidenced in written work and oral participation. • Build enthusiasm for service to others among student population as evidenced in responses to program surveys. • Enable the development of giftedness among student population. • Achieve family and community support for the student population. • Enhance diversity within the John Carroll community and promote educational cooperation between students and teachers from the Cleveland Municipal School District and students and higher education faculty from John Carroll University.
Program Strategies: History / Today • Utilizeexperiential education to increase success opportunities. (Carver, 996) • Utilize service learning curriculum to increase responsibility, explore concepts of community, and discuss/internalize concepts of social justice. (Coles, 1993) • Utilize graduated, differentiated curriculum to stimulate and identify gifted students and to provide intellectual challenge for all students. (Tomlinson, 1995) • Utilize discussion-centered curriculum to promote intellectual esteem, emotional community and the notion of an individual purpose in life. (Cutler Merritt, 1999) • Employ numerous elements of art, music, drama, dance and creative writing experience within curriculum of non-art subjects (English and Social Studies) to foster creative expression of thoughts and feelings. (Ford, 1996) • Adopt student-centered self-government program/critical democratic pedagogy (the Unity Circle) to develop personalized, collaborative environment, encourage cohesion among student body and internalize Locus of Control (LOC). (Knight, 1995) • Provide family and personal support to help reduce student stress and promote positive, functional family relationships. (Moon, 1998) • Institute growth-oriented assessment program. (Hollifield, 1996) • Develop cooperative teaching arrangement between Cleveland Municipal School District teachers, John Carroll faculty and John Carroll students.
Quantitative Results – Years 2 & 3 • Peabody Individual Achievement Test – Revised (General achievement test) • Total test was significant in both years 2 & 3 • Total reading was significant in year 3 • Arlin Hills Attitude Survey (Attitude toward school) • No significant differences were found in both years 2 & 3 • SDQ – II (Adolescent self-concept instrument) • No significant differences were found in both years 2 & 3
Qualitative Results – Years 2 & 3 • Enrichment • Students were engaged at their interest level by the program • Mentors facilitated more Type III activities that students enjoyed • Achievement gains were made through enrichment activities • Students (from interviews) wanted more enrichment activities and less academics • Community Service • Students understood the concept better after participation in the program • Students put more emphasis on how they give back
Qualitative Results – Years 2 & 3 • Engagement • Lecture-based activities elicited disengagement • Discussions reached more students • Relationships • Teacher/student relationships were generally positive • Students liked the extra attention they received at the Bridge School • Behavior & Retention • The program population decreased year 2 to year 3 because some students had problems with discipline and behavior that the program could not support
Quantitative Results – Year 5 • Writing • Critical thinking, written expression, and total writing scores improved significantly • Grammar & mechanics did not show a statistical difference • These results are supported by base-school teacher ratings of student work • Oral Participation • Teachers indicated increased student participation in base-school classes
Quantitative Results – Year 5 Altruism Questionnaire No statistically significant results Altruism Self-Report Instrument Students acknowledged an increased interest in community service Students indicated they would be more likely to do community service in the future Qualitative Results – Year 5 Giftedness Model The program uses more of a talent development model that emphasizes specific talents (i.e., writing) Future Aspirations While students generally commented that they wanted to attend a post-high school institution, few expressed an interest in John Carroll University Results – Year 5
Qualitative Results – Year 5 • Student Interviews • Student interviews corroborated the quantitative results • Students felt more able to participate orally in class • Students felt better equipped to write effectively and appropriately • Students felt like they would do more to benefit their community after being in CCPP • Students enjoyed the enrichment activities, but wanted more opportunities to do off-campus activities • Students also wanted the ability to self-design individual projects that connect the curriculum to community service
Philosophers’ Club Vision • Build on the identity and mission of the Women’s Center related to service, engagement, and social justice. • Contribute to the development and practice of university-community partnerships. • Positively impact the educational experience and aspirations of secondary and post-secondary student participants. • Utilize the pilot program to create a platform for the development of a sustainable and replicable initiative geared toward supporting alternative school students in Charlottesville and beyond.
Philosophers’ Club Goals • To enhance capacity and human resources of the Women’s Center in supporting the academic and personal development among students at Henry Avenue Learning Center • To assess the effectiveness of the initiative through the evaluation of attendance and grade records, teacher/counselor feedback, student feedback and parent response • To develop a plan for continuation/dissemination of the initiative at a scale that will maximize effectiveness for Charlottesville students while utilizing a manageable amount of human capital from UVa
Philosophy Component • Based on Philosophy for Teens written by Drs. Sharon Kaye & Paul Thomson; each chapter illustrates two philosophical positions on an issue. • Chapter provides a set of questions intended to stimulate and direct the discussions following the dialogue. • Supplementary sources are incorporated for weekly planning which builds on previous topics/discussions Through this method, the textbook and supplementary sources introduce students to philosophical concepts such as beauty, truth, and justice while providing a model of effective dialogue.
Participation to Date • 2009-2010: Total of 8 HALC participants and 5 WC Interns • 2010-2011: Total of 8 HALC Participants, 4 WC Interns, 1 returning intern, 3 UVa service learning students • 2 staff from HALC, two staff from WC • Philosophy as Service Learning course spring 2011
Philosophers’ Club Activities HALC-WC Philosophers’ Club meets every Friday at the Curry School of Education from 10-11:30 for discussion and activities then 11:30-12:00 for lunch at Newcomb Dining Hall Topics include: What is Truth? What is Beauty? What is Justice? Do Animals Have Rights? Is it Ever Okay to Lie? Activities Include: Debates, Skits, Dialogues, Photography, Poetry
Preliminary Findings Pilot I-II • Increased continuity between group and other contexts • Evidence of mutual transformation • Articulation of future goals for HALC students and benefits of engaged scholarship for UVa students • Recent approval of research study to begin spring 2011
Expanded Goals • To utilize spring 2011 evaluation data to inform an asset-based approach for alternative education • To expand capacity of the program • To increase awareness and support for HALC-WC PC • To formalize best practice through evidence-based approaches