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Learning In and Out of School: Education across the Globe

Learning In and Out of School: Education across the Globe


Tuesday & Wednesday, May 22–23, 2012
Hesburgh Center for International Studies

All humans by nature desire to know.


This set of papers derives from a conference convened at the University of Notre Dame in May 2012, in turn building on and out from a panel held in Montreal at the American Anthropological Association meeting in November 2011. It is envisioned as a contribution to broadening the scholarly but also the public conversation about the nature of learning and its relationship to the formal institutions we know as schools. In that sense, posting proceedings is a necessary offering.

We—anthropologists, psychologists, human development and education scholars from as far as Korea and Alaska—met for two full days during a gorgeous spring week just following graduation, with flowers and warmth and the peace of an academic year just completed. We ate wonderful food throughout the day and night, and had many informal conversations along with the formal proceedings. As convener, I aimed to implement my best understanding of how people learn and how they interact by structuring the conference with no papers delivered. This is somewhat like “flipping the classroom”: the independent preliminary work that could be done in advance was done in advance—writing and reading papers and preparing comments on others’ work—and the precious face-to-face time was used for what could only be done that way: discussing, asking, brainstorming, and laughing together.

Susan D. Blum
Department of Anthropology
University of Notre Dame


Table of Contents

Opening Remarks

Susan BlumSusan D. Blum
University of Notre Dame
Learning In and Out of School: What We Know, What We Need To Know

Workshop 1 – Learning

Suzanne Gaskins
Northeastern Illinois University
Open Attention as a Cultural Tool for Observational Learning

Cindy Dell Clark
Rutgers University–Camden
The Anthropology of Schools, Children, and Power

Vanessa L. Fong
Harvard University
Sung won Kim, primary author
Differences Between Chinese Mothers’ and Fathers’ Roles in their Children’s Education

LearningWorkshop 2 – Schools

Susan D. Blum
University of Notre Dame
A Strange Way of Coming of Age: Why the Higher Education Conversation Needs Anthropology

Peter Demerath
University of Minnesota
In and Out of School Socializing Influences on the Development of US Middle-Class Student Subjectivity

Workshop 3 – Non-academic Learning in Schools

Elisa Sobo
San Diego State University
‘This is Not Head-to-Head Education’: Whole Child Development in a Waldorf School

Christine Finnan
College of Charleston
Co-author: Lauren Rose
Learning, Sense of Self, and Yoga in a High-Poverty Urban Elementary School

LearningWorkshop 4 – Other Forms of Education

Meghan M. Chidsey
Columbia University
(Re)Learning Identities: War and Army Widows, Hostel Residents in Urban Rajasthan

Haejoang Cho
Yonsei University
Beyond Alternative Education: A Return to Caring in Creative Public Spaces

John D. Herzog
Northeastern University
Reflecting on Compagnonnage: Or Real World vs. Schoolroom Learning

Workshop 5 – Other Forms of Schools

LearningRebecca M. Klenk
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Shifting Curricula, Shifting Selves: Three Generations of Learning and Unlearning in a Himalayan Alternative School

Leslie C. Moore
The Ohio State University                                      
Double Schooling in Northern Cameroon and Central Ohio

Carolyn Pope Edwards
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Keely Cline, Lella Gandini, Alga Giacomelli, Donatella Giovannini, and Annalia Galardini, coauthors
Books, Stories, and the Imagination at ‘The Nursery Rhyme’: A Qualitative Case Study of the Learning Environment at an Italian Preschool

Presented by

The Kellogg Institute for International Studies

With generous support from

The Henkels Lecture Fund: Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, the College of Arts and Letters, and the Office of Research at the University of Notre Dame

Cosponsored by

Notre Dame’s Department of Anthropology and the Institute for Educational Initiatives

Special Thanks

Many people helped substantially with this endeavor. For financial support of the conference as well as of the editing of these proceedings, I thank especially the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies; the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA), College of Arts and Letters; and the Office of Research. For logistical support, I am grateful to Tom Merluzzi and Pat Base at ISLA; the Department of Anthropology, especially Michelle Thornton; at the Kellogg Institute Judy Bartlett, Dean Hartke, Scott Mainwaring, Elizabeth Rankin, Steve Reifenberg, and Sharon Schierling; special angel badge to Therese Hanlon. For editorial assistance with the proceedings, I am grateful to Leonor Wangensteen-Moya and Emily Wauford. For development of the ideas of this conference, and for help with practical matters I appreciate the efforts of Jee Seun Choi, Barunie Kim, and Christina Rogers. For help with many aspects of this conference, I am especially indebted to Emmy Dawson who wore many hats (including serving as rapporteur). For all-around encouragement, I thank Sassy, Hannah Jensen, and Lionel Jensen.





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