Class of 2009 Candidates for Distinction Present Work
May 06, 2009
The Class of 2009 candidates for Distinction in the Field brought a broad range of discussions to the table during the College's fourth annual presentation forum, which ran April 23rd. In all, 48 members of the senior class presented their work in various locations throughout campus.
Cathryn Lariviere '09, an education major, presented her study titled "Child-Centered Education in an Urban Environment." Inspired by her personal interactions with students and teachers during her pre-practicum and practicum experiences in the Boston Public Schools, Lariviere discussed the role of culturally relevant progressive education and literacy programs as a means of combating a variety of challenges that impact learning, specifically in an urban environment.
Her literature review identified current research on how teachers seek to implement a child-centered pedagogy that enhances literacy development.
"I feel that all children deserve the best education possible and I aimed to learn how to provide this through my research," she said. Lariviere began her project in September 2007 and has been impressed by how well she was able to apply her personal experiences in education to the research.
"I found discussions of the role of culture in urban education the most interesting because the classrooms I have been in during my pre-practicum and practicum experiences have always included children from a variety of cultures," she said. "I also enjoyed reading about Alan Sitomer's work incorporating hip-hop into literature programs across the country."
Ryan Rivard '09, a psychology major, presented his work titled "Do We Eat with Our Eyes? The Effect of Food Resources on the Performance of Inner-city Children." Rivard's research examined the effect that resources have on the cognitive and social performance of kindergarten students from low socioeconomic status.
His study supports the theory that not only is there a cognitive algorithm in the brain signaling the presence of resources, but there may in fact be a difference in the way this algorithm functions within males and females.
"I wanted to look at something that was not just biological nutrition to show that kids not only need to eat food, but need to feel like their environment is taken care of and abundant," said Rivard.
Rivard's study was influenced in part by his involvement in community service in the local schools throughout his four years at Emmanuel.
"I have been involved in a lot of community service dealing with popu-lations in low socioeconomic status and wanted to do a project that could encompass this," he said. "I was even able to conduct research in a school that I once did service in. It was really great to see the interaction between my experience inside and outside of the classroom playing a major role in my research."
For a complete list of Senior Distinction Projects, visit www.emmanuel.edu, click on "Commencement and Baccalaureate Information" and then select "Senior Distinction Presentations