Presentation on theme: "Kristine Balderston Literature and Society Dr. Sherry 9/29/10."— Presentation transcript:
Kristine Balderston Literature and Society Dr. Sherry 9/29/10
Problem College is about social life and academics How do college students create a balance?
Solutions To Understanding Summarizing studies of college culture: My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student by Rebekah Nathan (2005) Coming of Age in New Jersey: College and American Culture by Michael Moffatt (1989) Interpreting ethnographic data Describing the culture of college life at Bloomsburg University
Background Studies of College Culture Who: Rebekah Nathan and Michael Moffatt What: Performed ethnographic studies of their colleges by enrolling as students and living in the dorms Why: To create an understanding of college culture Where: Nathan: “AnyU”, Moffatt: Rutgers University When: Nathan: 2005, Moffatt 1989
Background Nathan: Compared to students decades ago: “Today’s public college students are both studying a little less and socializing less.” (Nathan, 2005, p. 33) This means more students have jobs and are involved in clubs Student’s social networks are important to college students Many relationships are typically formed early in college or through a common activity Student’s balance socializing and going to class and most multitasked An example is watching TV while doing homework
Background Moffatt: College is a combination of social life and academics Students referred to extracurricular learning as “social learning” 1 in 5 considered academic learning more important (Moffatt, 1989, p.58) 4 in 5 considered extracurricular learning more important (Moffatt, 1989, p.58) All but 10% considered extracurricular learning contributed to their maturation in college (Moffatt, 1989, p.58) This means social learning is more important than academics
What About Bloomsburg? Do the students at Bloomsburg care more about social life or academics? Or Do the students at Bloomsburg create a balance?
Method Interpret ethnographic data by: Visiting dorm rooms Surveying people about a typical day Observing a public space on campus Interviewing people “unlike you”
Findings Dorm Rooms: Dorm rooms could show if the student was more social or academic The picture on the left shows a futon in a student’s room The futon suggests the person is social and has an inviting room for friends and hallmates to come in and hangout The pictures on the desk suggest the person loves to be reminded of friends and family all the time The picture on the right shows another student’s room The room is clean and organized and this suggests that it allows the student to focus academically There are also books on the bed showing the student was recently doing homework or studying
Findings Surveying students: Surveying students about a typical day could show more about them Student 1 (Left): The first student I interviewed spent five hours hanging out with friends and only an hour and a half doing homework This shows the person is more into being social and hanging out with friends Student 2 (Right): The second student I interviewed was in class for five and half hours, did homework for two and half hours, then worked for an hour and a half This shows the student’s priorities are academics and work ActivityTime Spent Sleep7 hours Class3 hours Lunch40 min. Homework1 hour 30 min. Friends5 hours ActivityTime Spent Sleep7 hours Class5 hours 30 min. Lunch1 hour Work1 hour 30 min. Homework2 hours 30 min.
Findings Observing a public space: Observing a public space on campus could relate to identifying student’s who are more social or academic I went to the Commons and observed a majority of students were eating with friends or roommates There were some students sitting with one other person but no one was sitting along This shows students enjoy eating with friends instead of eating by themselves The biggest group of students at a table could suggest that they are more social I found when it comes to eating lunch or dinner both types of students ate with friends Tables Desserts Food Drink s Commons
Findings Interviewing people “unlike you”: Interviewing people who you think are “unlike you” allows you to learn about how they participate in college culture I thought the two students I interviewed were only focused academically but I found they were actually more social I asked: What is your favorite thing about college? Student 1: My favorite thing about college is learning more about myself, meeting new people, and the freedom Student 2: My favorite thing about college is being away from family, freedom, independence, and clubs Both student’s answers involved friends and meeting people instead of classes or academics
Conclusion The culture at Bloomsburg is social life and academics Students consider both important Some students attend just for the social life, others for academics, or for a balance of social life and academics Nathan and Moffatt’s studies of college culture agree social networks and academics are equally important This suggests college is a chance to make new friends and create their own social networks while learning and earning a degree Students need a healthy balance of social life and academics in order to get the most out of college
References Moffatt, M. (1989). Coming of Age in New Jersey: College and American Culture. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. Nathan, R. (2005). My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student. New York: Penguin Group, Ltd.
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