2009 Teaching and Learning Symposium

2:30-4:30 p.m., April 21, 2009
HUB Ballroom

Session Description



Standing-With Instead of In-Front: Embracing Uncertainty in the Undergraduate Education Experience

Kelly A. Forrest, Jodi R. Davison, and Kathy R. Judd (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Tacoma)

The experience of uncertainty is at the heart of knowledge and yet the undergraduate educational experience is largely characterized by learning within familiar structures. What would happen if students experienced more of the reality of this uncertainty within a class structure that deviated from their expectations? How could follow-up research internships be used to build on classroom learning through the creation of an adventure/discovery atmosphere?

The poster presents the approach taken in a 400-level course on Attachment & Interpersonal Relations taught for the first time in Fall 2007 at the University of Washington, Tacoma and the structure of the research internships that followed. It will describe the Gestalt principle of the cycle of experience (Zinker, 1977) and the methodology of the heart (Pelias, 2004) that served as foundational principles for this process. The perspective and reflections of two nontraditional undergraduate students who completed the year-long journey will be highlighted. "Standing-with" instead of "in-front" of these students as they experienced uncertainty within the academic environment has allowed them, not only to own their learning, but to stand more easily, embracing, with trust and flexibility, the uncertainty within themselves, their families, and their lives.


Index of Symposium Presenters