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Requirements and Expectations for all WISR Students (details)

Requirements and Expectations for all WISR Students

Studies in Methods of Social Action Research.

All students at WISR are required to participate in a few seminar sessions on Action Research, including completion of assigned readings. Students living at a distance, or those who are otherwise not able to attend an action-research seminar session in person, can do so via telephone conference call. Students will also be assisted in learning how to use the internet, relevant journals, and libraries, and to critique the literature in their field(s) of study.

Theories and Methods of Social Analysis and Social Change.

All students at WISR are expected to do at least one project that draws on their reading of and reflection on several perspectives on social change. Students are also expected to write a paper drawing on what they have learned from these readings and how it applies to one or more issues, problems or topics of special concern to them.

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. All WISR students are strongly encouraged to collaborate, formally and informally, with other WISR students and/or alumni in formulating and carrying out their research inquiries, and in critiquing and supporting each other’s intellectual and professional work. All 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 and internet contacts, and written correspondence. Each doctoral student is required to conduct at least one seminar at WISR during enrollment there, and students in other degree programs are encouraged to do this as well.

Students living in the greater Bay Area are expected to attend most of the two- to three- times per year All School Gatherings, so that they may come to know other WISR students and become acquainted with their backgrounds and research interests. Students living outside the area should negotiate with their faculty advisers the periods and timing of their residencies at WISR, including at least one visit per year.

Production of Annotated Bibliographies.

Each WISR student is required to develop annotated bibliographies in which they write a paragraph or two about each of the several sources they have been found to be most important in the core areas of their studies. Specifically, students are expected to produce an annotated bibliography of at least two or three sources in each of WISR’s required areas of 1) theories and strategies of social change, and 2) action-research and qualitative/participatory research methods, as well as in WISR’s thematic areas of concern of 1) multiculturality, and 2) in the doctoral program, with higher/adult/community education and social change. Each student will also do an annotated bibliography in what they consider to be their main one to four areas of primary emphasis and concentration. MFT students will do annotated reading lists of the two to four 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.

The development of annotated bibliographies, in conjunction with course syllabi [pdf] [doc] , is a requirement effective for all students entering on or after June 1, 2004, and students who have enrolled prior to then will be strongly encouraged to develop such annotated bibliographies.