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Required Seminar Participation and Annotated Bibliographies

Participation in WISR’s Learning Community

WISR recognizes that each student’s learning can be greatly enriched by active collaboration with other students in exploring and documenting study areas that touch their personal and professional interests. Because WISR’s program demands that individual students take major responsibility for defining and pursuing the study areas in their degree programs, collaboration among students is especially helpful in easing student’s progress toward their degrees.

An expectation prior to July 2018, and a requirement from July 2018 on, all WISR students collaborate, formally and informally, with other WISR students and/or alumni in formulating and carrying out their studies, including their research inquiries, and in critiquing and supporting each other’s intellectual and professional work. Beyond the requirements specified for each course, students should consider such collaboration a part of their responsibility to themselves and to the WISR learning community as a whole.

WISR faculty will help all students to develop collaborative learning relationships with other students through face-to-face meetings, seminars, telephone, online forums and other internet correspondence and contacts. Specific peer-to-peer collaborative requirements are outlined in each course syllabus. In addition, MFT students must participate in two seminars per month for a minimum of 24 months, or 48 seminars total. Alternatively, MFT students are given the option substituting for a portion of the required seminars,of initiating, other forms of collaboration with fellow WISR students, subject to faculty approval. 

Students studying from a distance, as well as those living near to WISR, have the option of participating in all seminars, by use of phone or computer/internet, making use of WISR’s real-time conference service. In this way, they can interact in real-time with students and faculty who are on site at WISR. 

Students living in the greater Bay Area are expected, if at all possible, to attend most of the twice per year All School Gatherings and Annual Conferences, so that they may come to know other WISR students and become acquainted with their backgrounds and research interests. 

Production of Annotated Bibliographies

As part of each course, students are required to develop annotated bibliographies in which they write a paragraph or two about each of the half dozen or so readings that they have been found to be most important in the core areas of their studies. In addition, by the end of their studies, students are strongly encouraged to produce an annotated bibliography of at least two or three sources in each of the following core areas of study at WISR: 1) theories and strategies of social change, and 2)action-research and qualitative/participatory research methods,  3) multiculturality, and 4) in the doctoral program, in higher/adult/community education and social change. Each student will also do an annotated bibliography in what they consider to be their main two to three areas of primary emphasis and concentration. MFT students are encouraged to produce annotated reading lists of one to two of the most important sources in each of the state-required areas of study (i.e., theories and methods of marriage and family therapy, human development, sexuality, cross-cultural counseling, law and ethics, psychopathology, psychopharmacology, psychological testing, alcoholism and substance abuse, child abuse assessment and reporting, and aging and elder abuse).

As part of producing their annotated bibliographies, students will be asked to describe each of the major readings, why it has valuable been valuable to them, and if applicable, its limitations, as well. Students will be encouraged to also address such questions as,
• what is it about this reading that resonated with you personally?
• what were you challenged to think about in a new way?
• how readable was this work?

WISR faculty hope that the process of constructing these annotated bibliographies may very well be confidence-building for students, and help them to keep track of the highlights of their learning. Also, the annotated bibliographies will enable the WISR community to develop a pool of knowledge in the main content areas across all degree programs, and in the areas of particular concern to MFT and Doctoral students, respectively, who together, make up a substantial majority of WISR students.

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