Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
Current Research Activities
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, service-learning began to be practiced by professors who were looking for ways to make their curriculum more meaningful and engaged, with the hope of developing students who were better critical thinkers. Research conducted on service-learning showed that students did become better critical thinkers and that this pedagogy provided a more engaged classroom. However, many of the social problems that faculty were addressing (e.g., inequality, poverty, food insecurity, etc.) continued to worsen. Some faculty began looking for ways to reverse these trends, and to see if it was possible to change social structure, rather than just focusing on the problems created by social structure. Out of this process, “policy service-learning” was developed.
In December of 2017, I published a book entitled CHANGE! A Student Guide to Social Action (Routledge), which is the first practical social change text devoted to students working in an academic environment. While there are many books about community organizing and social change, there are no college texts focusing on how to provide real-world experience with academic content taking into consideration the flow of the academic term. CHANGE! is written specifically for faculty and staff to use with college students with the goal of helping students bring about the change they believe is necessary to make our community a better place to live.
Research Connections to Current Events
The ability to do a difference in pay (DIP) leave has allowed me to write four books.
Personal Connections to Research
The fact that the USA is the richest nation on the planet and we are number one in childhood poverty, income inequality, and wealth inequality.