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Access at Crossroads: Learning Assistance in Higher Ed., D. Arendale   Click this web link to learn about my recent book

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     Access at the Crossroads Blog

    These blog entires identify best practices to increase success for historically-underrepresented college students including excerpts from my book, Access at the CrossroadsClick here to subscribe to this blog. Previously, I posted the new podcast episodes to this blog. I have now moved them to their own blog. Click on "my podcasts" tab above.

    Thursday
    Jun212018

    American Exceptionalism and Mr. Charlles Krauthammer

    Long-time Fox News panelist Charles Krauthammer, a psychiatrist, Pulitzer Prize-winner and bestselling author, regularly commented on issues great and small. He passed on June 21, 2018. Following are several of his quotations. I think he was the smartest and wisest person I ever listened to on TV. And also an overcomer of a physical challenge that most people never knew.

    AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM America is the only country ever founded on an idea. The only country that is not founded on race or even common history. It's founded on an idea and the idea is liberty. That is probably the rarest phenomena in the political history of the world; this has never happened before. And not only has it happened, but it's worked. We are the most flourishing, the most powerful, most influential country on Earth with this system, invented by the greatest political geniuses probably in human history.” 

    GO WHERE THE EVIDENCE TAKES YOU. “I was a Great Society liberal. I thought we ought to help the poor, we ought to give them all the money we can. And then, the evidence started to pour in. The evidence of how these grand programs, the poverty programs, the welfare programs--everything was making things worse. I didn't have a dog in that fight. I was willing to go where the evidence led. As a doctor, I'd been trained in empirical evidence. If the treatment is killing your patients, you stop the treatment.

    INDIVIDUALS MAKE A DIFFERENCEIn our sophisticated historical analyses, we tend to attribute everything to these large underlying currents, to certain political ideologies, or social changes like industrialization or the growth of women's rights and all that. But that’s missing the obvious—there’s usually a person who influenced things in a way that all the underlying forces cannot account for. In American history, (there’s) Washington, Lincoln, FDR, Reagan--they all stand out. It’s a way of looking at history that's less abstract, and is more recognizing the individual, which we tend not to do.

    FAITHFaith is something that one has or doesn't have; one doesn't construct it. The one thing I do believe is that of all the possible views of God, atheism is the least plausible. The idea that there's no meaning or purpose or origin--that the Universe is as it always was, is to me entirely implausible for reasons of physics, apart from faith. Because if you reason back to first causes, and if you’re an atheist, you get to a logical contradiction.”

    Saturday
    Jun022018

    Rodney Dangerfield Documentary: Life of an Overcomer

    Perhaps it seems unusual to post a documentary of a comedian to an academically-oriented blog. But, the documentary is a wonderful story of an overcomer who rose to the heights in entertainment. It is also a story of a person dealing with depression most of his life and the desire for acceptance. While his humor is not shared by everyone, I think everyone can enjoy his life story. Enjoy!
    Sunday
    Feb112018

    History Simulations: Engaging Critical Thinking and Developing Multiple Perspectives from Other Cultures

    I teach an introductory global history course for first-year undergraduates at the University of Minnesota.  I have been teaching introductory history courses for nearly four decades.  One of the learning activities that has most engaged the students are history simulations.  While I use a varied learning pedagogy, the most meaningful learning events for the students according to them are the simulations.  The students say that it is taking on the role of another country or group and engaging in highly-energized negotiations with two other groups leads to the following outcomes:  active learning like this is most meaningful, develop understanding of different perspectives of other countries and groups, and development of personal negotiation skills they will use in personal and future professional life. <Click here for the history simulation web page.>

    Sunday
    Feb112018

    My Global History Course Curriculum: Building Cultural Competency and Skill for a Diverse and Interconnected World

    This course focuses on understanding the driving forces of change that have been most consequential for global societies in the twentieth century.  Along with traditional lecture, the course facilitates discussion based on primary and secondary sources.  Students read and discuss the meaning of historical documents that highlight forces of global change such as social movements, religion, and competing economic systems.  In addition to these primary source texts, students will gain a deeper understanding of the global past by analyzing interpretations of history by present-day historians. Through this work, students will gain a better understanding of the practice of history and a better understanding of what it has meant to live in the twentieth century. <Click this link to open the comprehensive course page, readings, lecture videos, historyu simulations and other resources.>
    Thursday
    Jul132017

    2017 Revised Annotated Bibliography of Postsecondary Peer Cooperative Learning Programs

    I am happy to announce that the 2017 Revised Annoated Bibliography of Postsecondary Peer Cooperative Learning Programs is now available to download. Click on this link for a PDF or Word version of it.

    There are now over 1,300 entries spanning 486 pages. I noticed recent listserv conversations about locating research studies to support Supplemental Instruction programs or similar approaches operating at the college level. The directory grew significantly in the past two years. The directory includes the Emerging Scholars Program (Dr. Uri Treisman model), Peer-Led Team Learning, Supplemental Instruction, and Video-based Supplemental Instruction, Structured Learning Assistance, Accelerated Learning Groups, and Peer Assisted Learning.

    You can download the directory as a PDF or Word document. I also included some sub-topics of the directory such as facilitator development, vocational influence, identity development and more. I also provide the EndNote library file to allow you to more easily search the database for the topic you want.  Be sure also to download the keyword search guide to discover all the ways to search the contents for the information you want. Other bibliographic database systems may be able to open the EndNote file but I am not an expert with that process.

    No doubt I missed some citations related to these seven major peer learning programs. Please send me the citation and perhaps a copy of the publication and I will be happy to include in an update. Thanks for consideration.

    Friday
    Jun232017

    Approaches to Learning Assistance: Concurrent Acquition of Knowledge and Skills

    With this blog posting, I pick back up on my series of samples from my book, Assistance at the Crossroads described in the left-hand column of this website.  There are many ways that academic help can be provided for college students who are struggling in some of their classes. 

    This learning assistance approach operates through concurrent learning experiences. Students simultaneously enroll in a college-level class, whether or not they have been identified as academically underprepared, and use learning assistance services to support their learning in that class. A common characteristic of such a class is academic rigor exceeding the average of other college-level classes. These courses are challenging for many students, and the classes have high withdrawal and failure rates. Sometimes they are called “gatekeeper” classes (Jenkins, Jaggars, and Roksa, 2009).

    For purposes of this discussion, this historically difficult class is called a “target class,” as learning assistance services are customized and “targeted” for serving students enrolled in that specific course. Other students in the same class that have not been identified as academically underprepared for content material in that particular class are welcome to use the learning assistance activities as supplemental or enrichment experiences to deepen mastery of course content. This concurrent acquisition approach is divided into three smaller groups of activities: those offered as supplemental learning experiences through the student’s voluntary participation; those offered as a coordinated program that requires moderate involvement by the target course instructor; and those embedded, infused, or mainstreamed in the course targeted for academic support that thereby serve all students enrolled in the class, regardless of their academic preparation.

    One of the activities described in the previous section on prerequisite acquisition approaches could also have appeared in this section. Because most students enroll in only a single developmental course, the rest of their courses are at the college level. These students concurrently develop competency through the developmental course while they advance their knowledge and skills through the college-level courses. The key issue that places developmental courses in the previous section is that students are not ready to enroll in the college-level course for which they are underprepared. They are, however, ready for enrollment in other college-level courses. (To be continued.....)

    Friday
    May052017

    Dr. Rev. Billy Graham - "He is Risen"

    In this podcast episode, we feature Reverend Billy Graham sharing a five-minute, low-key talk about importance of the Easter Story that he recorded in 1960 while on location in Jerusalem. There is a video of the same speech available through YouTube (click this link to watch it). Dr. Graham has retired from active preaching and lives in an assisted medical care facility. His wife passed a few years ago. I attended one of his revival meetings in a crowded Royals baseball stadium in Kansas City many years ago. It was an experience that I still remember today. Here is just a little bit of information about him. He was an active preacher and author for six decades. Dr. Graham sought to relate the Bible to contemporary social issues. He preached jointly with Dr. Martin Luther King at some crusades in the 1950s. Graham provided some of the bail money to release Dr. King when he was arrested after a civil rights demonstration. It is estimated the total audience at revival meetings, listeners on radio, and viewers on television of Dr. Graham’s messages exceeds two billion people. Click this link for a PDF from Wikipedia on the life of Dr. Graham.