The Listening Project: Converging Media Arts, Education, and Community-Organizing in Theory and Practice
by Will Bangs
Anxiety, Risk Factors, and Intervention for Youth with Conduct Problems
by Anna Joseph
Taming the Wild Things: Using Picture Books to Encourage Young Children to Practice Emotional Self-Regulation
by Liz Tabor
Div III concentration: The Listening Project: Converging Media Arts, Education, and Community-Organizing in Theory and Practice
How do I bring these seemingly disparate areas of study together? What is the relationship between process and product? What is my role as an artist, educator, and community-organizer in communities that are new to me? How do I create a project that is reciprocal? What are the issues that are important to a community? How do we create a project that engages with these issues to work towards their solutions?
Collaborative Art: Theory and Practice of Working with a Community
Seminar in American Education: Youth Development and Social Entrepreneurship, Experiential Education
Video Vanguard (Amherst video workshop for youth of color and their allies); Project Coach (Springfield after-school sports program that trains and employs teenagers to be coaches for elementary-age children in their neighborhoods); The Young Entrepreneurs Society (Orange youth center focused on entrepreneurship, job-readiness, finance, and technology).
Find a committee that is into the spirit of your work, who are excited and invested in helping you succeed and not just folks who are experts in what you are doing. Connect with other CYL students--go to CYL panels, talk with CYL professors, host a potluck, and share ideas.
I'm on track to teach in a public school and continue to work with youth in after school programs.
Div III Title: Anxiety, Risk Factors, and Intervention for Youth with Conduct Problems
How are anxiety and stress related? And why/how are they both an adaptive mechanism for survival?
What is the role of anxiety and stress in youth with conduct problems/Conduct Disorder?
What are the biological and environmental risk factors for conduct problems?
Why are interventions that take place in a public school setting important in terms of providing mental health care for youth with conduct problems?
What are the best methods to ensure the effectiveness of such programs?
CS-105T 1 Developmental Psychopathology
SS-0225 1 Psychoanalytic/Psychotherapy
CS-0238 1 Cognitive Development
CS-0246 1 Adolescent Development
SS-0233 1 Listening and Hearing
CS-0205 1 Social Development
Summer 2007 and 2008: Staff at residential treatment program called "Wediko" (wediko.org for more info) for children with emotional and behavioral disorders located in Windsor, New Hampshire.
Spring 2009: Volunteer at after school program in Northampton for children with social, emotional, and/or behavioral problems.
Don't be afraid to take off campus courses; some of the best courses I have taken were off campus. Take advantage of internship opportunities. Hands-on experience in not only absolutely crucial when working with children and youth, but it is also a great way to make connections for current or future job opportunities.
What I have learned will help me to practice the art of writing a thesis, a skill necessary for graduate school. It will be helpful when I am evaluating the risk of a youth who is developing particular mental health problems, in the sense of understanding both what 'risk factor' really means and what risk factors are specific for conduct problems. It has opened my eyes to the necessity of working with schools and better coordinating interventions so they remain consistent in a youth's life.
Div III title: Taming the Wild Things: Using Picture Books to Encourage Young Children to Practice Emotional Self-Regulation
I explored how children's literature can be used to teach young children strategies for emotional self-regulation. In doing this, I studied children's literature, early childhood development, education, and child psychology.
SS-266 Changing Childhoods: Professors Rachel Conrad, Brown Kennedy, and Penina Glazer
SS-283 Children and their Cultural Worlds: Professors Rachel Conrad and Kim Chang
Pre-Practicum for Teaching with Maddie Marquez
The Pre-Practicum for Teaching allowed me to work with pre-schoolers at a local elementary school and was helpful to applying the theory I had been learning in class, as well as in understanding how hard it is to fit individual children into such theories. It was most useful in helping me build connections with teachers and the school that I was able to expand on in two subsequent independent projects.
The Pre-Practicum lead to an independent study in the same classroom, also working with Maddie Marquez. In this independent study I was looking at how children relate to picture books in unique ways, based on individual differences. This project has had a huge influence on the work I did for my Division III project and helped me to learn how to write papers integrating theory and actual experience.
Philosophy with Children, a Mount Holyoke class taught by Tom Wartenburg, involved teaching philosophy to second graders at a school in Northampton. We read stories to the kids once a week and then discussed the philosophic issues presented in each story. Working with the kids was an essential part of this course since the theory was hard to envision without practically applying it in the school setting. This course helped me learn how to engage children in open-ended discussions and most importantly to listen to their ideas as valuable contributions to a philosophical problem.
For my Division III project, I conducted original research working with children from the same pre-school class. The connections that I built with the pre-school teachers starting in the Pre-Practicum and continuing in my independent study were invaluable to the development of my Div III. I read stories to the pre-school children that include strategies for emotional self-regulation, and then discussed these books to find out how the children understand these strategies and adapt them for their own use. Being able to do my own work with children gave me a great source of material to work with in answering the key questions of my Div III.
The work that I have done in schools through the CYL program has helped me get summer jobs. Working with children through community-based learning projects has helped me to build my resume and has given me valuable experience that makes me more marketable as a teacher. This learning has also given me the opportunity to try out working in different settings so that I can see what I want to pursue after Hampshire. The CYL courses have taught me how to do my own research working with kids, and how to integrate this research into persuasive papers. This is the sort of work that I envision continuing in grad school and I feel well prepared for it. Although I do not know yet what exactly I want to study in grad school (education or child psychology), I feel that I have a background of knowledge that prepares me to continue in either direction with confidence.