Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

Files in this item



application/pdfResearchProcess.pdf (89kB)
Research ProcessPDF


Title:The Identification of "Studenthood" and the Odyssey Project
Author(s):Burns, Michael
non-traditional students
Abstract:The Odyssey Project is an adult eduction program partly funded by UIUC. Most of the Odyssey Project students are returning to educational situations after some time away from formal academia. In this proposed study, I intend to investigate ideas of "studenthood" as defined by the participants (and instructors) in The Odyssey Project. By conducting classroom observations, I will examine students' interactions in classroom settings as they engage with environments, instructors, texts, ideas, and each other to develop a semiotic understanding of what "studenthood" means to them. As a teacher/researcher, my goal will be to engage students with situated pedagogical approaches that take into consideration a progression from "reading the word to reading the world" (Paulo Freire). This research will contribute to an understanding of how non-traditional students develop a student identity as they come to a more critical engagement in educational settings.
Issue Date:2008-01-25
Course / Semester:ANTH 411: Methods for Sociocultural Anthropology, Prof. Nancy Abelmann. This course introduced students to a variety of ethnographic methods. Students tried their hand at some of these methods through a focused project. I had students think about their semester-long work as "pilot research"; although they did write up a short paper on their findings (their "discuss" section of the database), the culminating assignment was a research proposal in which they envision building on their preliminary findings in a longer/larger project. In the beginning of the semester, students did some warm-up exercises not directly related to their projects (an observation, an analysis of a university document, and an interview) -- some students elected to remove these from their databases while others left them in because of their connection to the final project. Students' "question" and "plan" sections of the database include multiple entries as I encouraged them to continue to refine these over the course of the semester in dialogue with their own emerging findings. I also asked students to search both the U of I Student Life and Cultures Archives and well as this EUI IDEALS collection to find archives relevant to their pilot/proposed research. All students were asked to "reflect" on the research experience and to make "recommendations" to the University on the basis of their research findings. The course syllabus is available at:
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2008-01-25

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics