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Why this literature?
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Why these people?
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Title: Exploring social justice, compassion fatigue, and student affairs through storytelling
Student affairs professionals are positioned between students and the university’s power structure. Because of this hierarchy, the informal out-of-classroom interactions between students and student affairs professionals are often rich with diverse experiences. Higher education is built upon Eurocentric roots tied to the hierarchal system instituted within the colonial foundation of higher education (Altbach, 2001). The current system continues to privilege Euro-American white students, and has not yet adapted to the steadily diversifying student body. Due to these structures seasoned student affairs professionals are often stretched between policy, people, and purpose while working towards creating an equitable campus environment.
Problem and purpose statements
PROBLEM: Student affairs professionals are positioned between students and the university’s power structure. Faced with daily challenges, student affairs professionals are confronted by crises and incidents that directly impact students and their community. There is limited information available about how student affairs professionals working towards social justice affected by compassion fatigue.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore what seasoned student affairs professionals experience while doing social justice work in higher education through narrative inquiry.
Research question(s) [Not protocol questions]
Research Question: What affect does working to address social injustice in higher education have on student affairs professionals, both professionally and personally?
Delimitations (brief, “scope”): delimit |diˈlimit| verb ( -limited , -limiting ) [ trans. ] determine the limits or boundaries of : agreements delimiting fishing zones.
5+ years experience
engaged in social justice work
social justice campus
symptoms of compassion fatigue
Significance of the study
Hearing stories, through narrative inquiry, from seasoned student affairs professionals will illuminate the importance of teaching each other how to cope with emotional dilemmas and taking care of oneself. The opportunity to critically reflect on seasoned student affairs professionals experiences will give a voice to personal beliefs, provide a new dimension of knowledge, and enrich meaning-forming through self-awareness (Kegan, 2000; Mezirow, 2000). Thus strengthening ourselves while developing healthy characteristics, and enhancing campus communities (Figley, 2002).
Individuals (seasoned professionals, faculty, university administrators, new professionals, graduate students, individuals engaged in social justice work)
Conscientization (Friere, 1970) According to Freire (1970), “In problem-posing education, people develop their power to perceive critically the way they exist in the world with which and in which they find themselves; they come to see the world not as a static reality, but as a reality in process, in transformation” (p. 83).
Living a balanced life
Readiness for change
Importance of informal learning
Institutional: Student affairs associations (National and local), academic preparation programs, division of student affairs, university administration)
Ability to change
Model life balance
Enhance campus communities
Open and inviting environment
Theoretical, conceptual framework(s)
Transformative learning theory (Mezirow)
Critical inquiry (Friere; McLaren)
Summary of research approach and design (Methodology)
A visual form of representation will be more accessible with autoethnographic commentaries (Hickman, 2007).
Creation of authentic data verified by the participants and their stories (Hickman, 2007).
Limitations (brief,”relative weaknesses”)
My personal experience and bias
My personal skill set as a researcher
Access to rich stories
Reality or fiction
Number of participants
Emotional distress from retelling stories
Overview of the following chapters
Catchy narrative intro
Summary of key findings or results
Summary of key implications
Summary of key recommendations
For future research
Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed (M. B. Ramos, trans). New York: Continuum.