Education

Farm Ed for Youth: Growing Stories
This Capstone will partner with the Sauvie Island Center (sauvieislandcenter.org). The mission of the Sauvie Island Center is “educating youth about food, farming, and the land.”  Students will work collaboratively with the Sauvie Island Center staff to develop curriculum for school age children, help the Center to tell the story of Oregon farmers and of farm education, and support Center staff in developing and maintaining the organization’s field trip site at Topaz Farm on Sauvie Island. Students will have the option of volunteering remotely or on site at Topaz Farm, learning about sustainable food systems and the impact of farm education; the course will offer opportunities for students to develop skills in educating and storytelling to help transform the relationship between humans and their environment and thus enact social change.

This Capstone will partner with the Learning Gardens Laboratory (LGL), a 12-acre garden education site on Portland’s southeast side. Students work collaboratively to gather stories of community gardeners, teachers, and community partners who regularly gather at LGL to learn and farm. Capstone students will gain skills in interviewing, storytelling, and using narrative as a means for social change, in addition to learning about sustainable food systems and the impact of learning gardens. 

Curriculum and Material Development for Heritage/Indigenous Language (INDIGENOUS LANG ACTIVISM) 

The goal of this course is to give students a solid background in historical and societal issues that influence language diversity through hands-on collaboration with current language sustainability efforts. This capstone partners with endangered language communities in the Northwest (tribal language programs in general and the Warm Springs Tribal Language Program, specifically) to work together to support those programs by giving students “on-the-ground” skills to accompany class studies. Capstone students will develop language and/or pedagogical materials that will support the endangered language programs/teachers in their work to offer language classes in their communities. General class instruction will be exclusively online or hybrid and those students who can meet at the PSU campus may be able to participate in a visit to the language communities to increase students’ practical understanding of the language and community issues for their final work. All students who are interested in Indigenous and/or language activism are welcome to this capstone (regardless of any prior familiarity with Indigenous languages or history), and especially those who are interested in supporting our community partner’s fund-raising efforts and curriculum/teaching activities.  Students in this capstone are strongly encouraged, as a class goal, to foster a healthy online community and collaborate with peers through group work. Members from our community partner and other guest speakers will also join online (likely using Zoom), and other online meeting times will be determined by class and community participants’ availability and schedule.

This capstone is similar to the Gender and Violence capstone but includes more emphasis on international issues.

Brief description   

Leadership and Mentoring 

The mentoring of young people takes many forms. Some young people are fortunate to grow up with a caring parent, relative or adult ally who serves as a mentor to them. Other young people do not enjoy the benefits of a strong mentor in their lives.  Research shows that mentoring results in a myriad benefits for both the mentor and the mentee. For all involved, these include the development of leadership skills, increased interpersonal communication, improved relationship-building skills, and increased self-awareness. Armed with these skills, a young person has greater potential for success in many settings.

This capstone is designed to provide an opportunity to learn about Spanish culture and society by means of synchronous and asynchronous discussion group forums between American and Spanish middle and high school students.  The communities of students will be from: Portland, Oregon, various schools in Washington state and Zamora, Spain.  These forums will be between paired classes (one USA and one Spanish) of similar grade and language level and will be facilitated and monitored by both teachers of each class.  Each grouping of classes will be assigned 2 capstone students. 

The goal of this course is to provide students professional skills for grant proposal writing in the field of language diversity and sustainability. Along with the proposal writing skills, the students will learn a solid background in historical and societal issues that influence language diversity through hands-on collaboration with current language sustainability efforts. This capstone partners with one of the endangered language communities in the Northwest, specifically, the Warm Springs Tribal Language Program.

Social Justice In K-12 ED Capstone

Since the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, the “achievement gap” has been at the forefront of discussions about school equity.  The public has been tuned into this so-called “achievement gap” alongside shocking high school dropout rates, lack of access to equitable early childhood education, public disinvestment in the education system, disparities in access to higher education, and more.   According to the Children’s Defense Fund’s 2012 State of America’s Children Report, the gaps (more accurately and truthfully described as opportunity, wealth, or access gaps) between high and low income students is 30-40% greater now than a generation ago.  This same report details that a lack of access to early childhood education can lead to 25% of at-risk youth dropping out and 60% never accessing higher education.  This study goes on to state that while 76% of high school students graduate within four years, only 2/3 of black and Latino students graduate within this same time frame (Children’s Defense Fund). 

Quality Assurance for Volunteer Stream Monitoring.

Science Background Not Required.

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