Sunday, October 2, 2011


Conyers, L., Reynolds, J., & Ou, S. (2003). The effect of early childhood intervention and subsequent special education services: findings from the chicago child-parent centers . Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis,25(1), 75-95.

One of the areas that I am interested in exploring in regards to education is how communities and schools can start investing in children at even younger ages. This particular study examined the effects of early intervention for children with disabilities. While I am not particularly looking to work with children with disabilities, I believe that this article's finding that early intervention has longstanding effects on youth is generalizable in many ways. It shows that people with disadvantages gains osmething from assistance early on.

Gordon, M., & Louis, K. (2009). Linking parent and community involvement with student achievement: comparing principal and teacher perceptions of stakeholder influence. American Journal of Education, 116, 1-31.
This study found a link between high involvement of stakeholders (parents, teachers, administration) and math achievement. The relevance of this finding for me is that I fascinating in looking how parental involvement can be increased. Kathy Hoover-Dempsey, a Vanderbilt professor, that I have contacted about possibly partnering for a faculty fellowship, studies this very thing. She has created a model to look at this issue. this article provides further background into the notion that high parent involvement, in addition to active participation from other stakeholders, increases achievement in classrooms. I could use this article in my proposal to support further research or working on this particular aspect of education.

Lee, J., & Bowen, N. (2006). Parent involvement, cultural capital, and the achievement gap among elementary school children.American Educational Research Journal, 43(2), 193-218.
THis article examines how the demographics of parents may relate to the question of parental involvement and its effect on the achievement gap. The authors found that there were similarities and differences in the types of parental involvement parents showed and how it effected children. Examining these differences provides me with insight on how I might look at my project. If I create a project based on the idea of bringing different systems together (the exosystem), this will provide me with information to look into the cultural aspect of what I am doing.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Over the last few years, the issue that has inspired me to serve has been education. When I hear about a child receiving an inadequate education, I start thinking about lost opportunities. I truly believe that every child comes to earth with the same potential. Unfortunately, factors ranging from poverty to family/community values hold down endless numbers of children around the world. I often struggle to decide if my focus should be on assisting children in the United States or abroad; however, I know that I want to participate in work that allows me to widen the opportunities that children have.

One of the major things that I have discovered over the last few years is that in order to fix the education system adults need to be educated. In the inner city, many children are born into homes that are destined to keep them down because their parents are uneducated and do not know how to properly engage their infants in language. If I end up doing a project, this is one aspect of education that I would be interested in exploring - how to engage families before children begin school.

My main challenge that I have faced as I have become increasingly interested in exploring education is how to serve. I feel that there is so much I have to learn before I can actually address this issue; however, I feel that I have many strengths that may be useful. First, I consider myself to have an ability to listen, assess, and then focus on a specific root. If I could find an organization and professor that would be willing to help me find a root, I think that I would be an asset in conducting research. I also think that writing is a particular strenth of mine. In addition, I think that I am extremely empathetic but also have the ability to step back and think about the bigger picture.

In a recent assignment for Ingram, we wrote about what we thought service was. I agreed with my workgroup from orientation and wrote about how it was "the choice to give others choices." Currently, millions of children do not have enough choices. Social barriers are keeping them down.  As I explore possibilities for projects,  I want to make sure I find something that will give children choices.