TGI's Street Scholars Teach Graduate Students Print E-mail

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Since its inception in 2009, TGI has been committed to educating graduate-level nursing and public health students in effectively and empathically working with formerly incarcerated adults.  However, with the development of the Street Scholars program, our scholarly interest in teaching expanded to talking, not just about the practicalities of working with the formerly incarcerated adults, but also the philosophical and ethical approaches we are taking up in our own mentoring work with this population.  

As educators, the Street Scholars want to give students opportunities for ethical exploration in the classroom.  This means creating safe and dialogic spaces where the students can examine their biases, predjudices, and deeply held beliefs and come to new, broader of understandings of what they thought they knew and held dear.  For the Street Scholars, this means teaching the students about the Heideggarian (and holistic) Concept of Person and the Socratic process of shared inquiry. It also means making themselves vulnerable before the students about their own incarceration and addicition histories - no easy feat.  Their teaching requires a mix of intellect and emotion not commonly experienced in the classroom setting and this is what makes their teaching so powerful.  Many students have told us that their time with the Street Scholars was one of the best educational experiences they had during their graduate training.  We have lectured at Univerisity of San Francisco, University of California, Davis, and University of California, San Francisco.

We are excited because this important teaching is also a research project done in collaboration with Dr. Meera Nosek of University of San Francisco.  In this study, we interview students before and after the class to learn how their perceptions of formerly incarcerated adults changed.  We also interview the Street Scholars and are capturing how the process of teaching graduate-level students is transforming them and affecting their drug and alcohol recovery and reintegration.  A paper describing the first phase of this educational research project is under review with the journal, "Nursing Philosophy". Publication is anticipated later this year. 

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Ron presents the Socratic Dialogue to USF Students.

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Earthy is phenomenology all the way down!