Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bargains and Outliers

The “Marita’s Bargain” chapter focuses on a leading college-prep school, the KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) in a struggling community in New York City. Gladwell gives special attention to one of the students, Marita, and the considerable effort and sacrifices she must make in order to do well at the school. She must rise early and study late into the night

Gladwell argues that KIPP “has succeeded by taking the idea of cultural legacies seriously.” That means that a tradition like summer vacation is replaced with year-round schooling, and the times that the school day begins and ends changes as well as how students are instructed to pay attention in class. And, a student like Marita is given more of a “chance” when someone brings “a little bit of the rice paddy to the South Bronx” and explains “the miracle of meaningful work.”

KIPP Academies seem to have tremendous success assisting young people from poor, neglected environments make it to college. But, what might a KIPP Academy at the collegiate level look like? Perhaps that’s what our activities with the Haley Scholars Academy are all about. So what KIPP-like strategies do you think would be most important for a large group of us to adopt in order to ensure that larger numbers of students at the university attain academic and professional success?

Or, what kinds of “bargains” should the university or specific programs like the Haley Scholars Academy create to make opportunities for collegiate success available to more and more students here?

31 comments:

Elizabeth Flores said...

In my opinion, KIPP is all about offering chances. Marita was given an opportunity, and because she accepted this opportunity, she has a very high likelyhood of succeeding in life. If we were to relate these kipp strategies for success to college life, it could help students in college succeed. One idea could be tutoring students or holding study sessions so students have to opportunity to keep information fresh in their minds. Also, a KIPP strategy was to stay longer during the day, and more in the summer. SIUE could adopt one of these methods, say a career fair during the summer, or standardized test reviews. This could all help students learn, review, and retain information. Students at college, especially at SIUE, have countless opportunities for help, but maybe they are not able to relate to them, because they come from different backgrounds. As Johnetta Haley's, we can relate to students with different backgrounds and help them. Overall, if we give any student the chance to succeed, they have a great opportunity to do well in college.

Mitchell Martineau said...

Here at SIUE, I believe we can offer some more opportunities for other students here on campus. Examples like the SOAR office offer a good example of programs. Tutoring is something that could be provided a wider scale, I know many times I get asked for help on work, or where to go for help. Maybe also offer help students with research projects, just guidelines and tips, not doing it for them, possibly offering credit hours for those who volunteer.

Theresa Long said...

This book continues to amaze me. I always learn something new. I was amazed at learning about KIPP and was astonished by the sacrifices this young girl has made to make her future brighter. I could not believe her schedule. It sounds like mine and it is rough on me...and I am 34! This program is offering so many opportunities to kids that otherwise would not have them. These are chances that should be made to every kid and sadly are not. Overhaul of the school system definitely seems necessary! KIPP seems to be making positive steps and setting great examples for the future.

It was interesting to learn about how the school system was originally set up in the 19th century. I never thought about how the schedule was fashioned after agriculture and the farming schedule. I enjoyed the comparison of the differences between the western and Asian cultures.

I believe shortening the summer sessions could be a great way to help less fortunate students to continue to excel each school year. This book proves that given chances and opportunities, anyone can excel in something!

Adriana Romo said...

I agree with both Elizabeth and Mitchell. I think that SIUE does offer a lot of help through tutoring and many other clubs, along with the activities that are available through them. I think that there still is a problem like Elizabeth said with many people from different backgrounds not feeling confortable in asking for help because they feel as if they can not relate to them. I think that the fact that the Haley scholars are becoming more active and visible on campus can indeed help. Other clubs should do the same so that people from different backgrounds can feel more comfortable and will approach them for help. Many people do not even know that clubs and organizations like these exist so it greatly helps when we get out there and show what we Haleys are all about!!

Kimber Barrett said...

I completely agree that KIPP is an amazing place to open opportunities for the underprivileged students. Marita will be very successful due to her rigorous schedule at KIPP. With the year round schooling; this not only helps students to stay engaged in their studies but also helps them to not lose any material they have previously studied. SIUE offers summer courses, however, not as many students jump at this opportunity. If more students studied year round, we may see a positive correlation in success/graduation. Also, a lot of the classes I am in re-iterate what the previous classes spoke about. This helps me not to forget what the essential things are from previous courses. I believe students at SIUE are given ample opportunity for help, however, if depends on the student to get the help. KIPP relied heavily on the fact that students were told and disciplined for many things. College students would need a different approach. Having a scholarship, like the Haley scholarship is an amazing tool to help students succeed. Another program that’s goal is student success (for all races) is SI, supplemental instructor. These student instructors actually sit in the classrooms with the students – they learn how the teacher teaches and then holds sessions outside of the classroom to help the students succeed in that class.

Sherrie Jayne said...

I agree that there are opportunities for students at SIUE to get help in classes. I do not believe that if a student is struggling in classes that he or she has no where to go to get help, but that the places students can go to get help are not as visible or open as they need to be to reach the wide variety of students at SIUE. KIPP could offer important and fundamental ways for these organizations to be more effective. sometimes the more simple approaches have the best results.

Cristina Salabao said...

A problem that I see with KIPP at a collegiate level is that by now, we as 20-somethings are set in our ways and more willing to settle. Kids are too, but they don't think like that. They don't understand the concept of "scraping by" or work or family or marriage interfering with that extra commitment to succeed. I believe for a college KIPP to be successful, the idea of discipline and the will and drive to push beyond what comes easily must be instilled at an earlier age. For the few with that drive, tuition assistance from outside businesses are a very tangible rewards for any measures that resemble KIPP that SIUE implements. Earlier classes, reduced credit hour rates for higher grades, and tougher grading scales are measures I believe could help students push themselves to really work for what they can achieve. We may lose people along the way, but the quality of students we graduate will improve.

Catalina Trevino said...

I believe that SIUE has a good system in helping the less fortunate or those who struggle through school. Even though there are several opportunities to turn your future around or improve your ways of learning in the campus many of the students are uneducated about these chances or are completely oblivious that they exist. I think that the professors should encourage students to use things like the writing center or tutors outside of class. Maybe even offering online help would make it much more convenient to access the help. I know with being a full time student and working six days a week it is very difficult to even make it to campus during open hours to these facilities. This would increase the success rates in students who do not have the time to find help on campus because it would be accessible at any time.

Eric said...

I think the KIPP program is wonderful way to help underprivileged children have a chance to succeed academically. I am not sure, however, that this type of program would work here at SIUE. there would be no way to "extend the school day" like they can in elementary and middle schools because college classes are offered at different times and on different days and everyone has a different schedule. the amount of time spent in class is an important factor for children but i think the amount of time spent studying and preparing for class outside of class is what makes the difference in college. KIPP is about teachers and families holding kids' hands and keeping on them about their school work. College is about taking personal responsibility for your future and learning to push yourself without teachers or family constantly looking over your shoulder.

There are many opportunities here at SIUE for students who want to spend more time studying. All teachers have office hours and most are more than willing to spend one on one time with students who need help. Many departments have tutoring available as well. One thing SIUE could offer could be housing students in the same majors together so they could help each other and study together at night or in their spare time. This would be especially helpful in the foreign language departments as immersion is the best way to learn.

Andrew said...

One idea they mentioned was about how at KIPP they have longer class times, but slowed the pace down. This allows the information to be absorbed more thoroughly and promote information retention. I don't know how many times I've been learning in class and still feel like I come away with nothing. I do learn slowly, I know that. Maybe prolonging and/or reducing the pace of the class would allow for a better learning environment. Sitting in class longer doesn't strike me as fun, but it may reduce the amount you have to study on your own and could be better for learning.

Anonymous said...

I think SIUE offers a lot of opportunity for students, but one thing I feel could make an experience for students, especially income freshmen are getting them more involved with student organizations early. Tutoring and help is offered all the time but there are always those students who excel and need something else to push them even more. I think by showing them different organizations like student finance bored, CAB, or Student Government mite also interest them and help them learn more about whats going on on campus. For me I didn't have someone push me until my second year that they have organizations directed towards my major. I realized it was a great opportunity and I know there are a lot of people who are just unaware of what SIUE has to offer.

-Dino Anagbogu

Christiana Puckett said...

I am proud that there are KIPPs out there so that everyone whether rich or poor will have a chance to get in college. I agree with year round school because i have been doing it for three years now. Every summer i been taking summer classes and this is my last summer of me taking classes because I graduate 2011.
Different clubs on campus and tutoring are advances in professional success. I have to go to tutoring for stats and it has helped me.

Jasmine Coleman said...

I found this chapter extremely inspiring especially because I want to teach in hard to staff, urban areas. At the college level I think the best way to give students a chance to succeed is through mentoring and tutoring. If students have a chance to receive help when they are struggling most likely they will do better. I think it is important to have someone to look up to and confide in when it comes to academics. I believe one of the main reason students fail to learn is because they are scared to ask questions. If tutoring is widely available by peers, I think students would be more comfortable receiving help.

Chico Weber said...

sAt SIUE there is already some tutoring and help sessions available for almost any class your taking but most students don't find it helpful. I think that these tutor sessions should be more equipped to help students. Because of this even professors have given extra time to help their students outside of class time. It takes more than just making opportunities available in order to generate success. It takes a commitment that the school will stand behind each student until they succeed.

H. Rambsy said...

Good point, Chico. Thanks for that.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Theresa, as well as many of the other students. Summer school itself is a great opportunity, and shortening the sessions could be beneficial. The tutoring sessions are also very helpful, but sometimes they are hard to attend with my busy class schedule. I live in the dorms, and I think it would be good if more tutoring sessions were held in the dorms (in the MFR, maybe). More advertisement about the tutoring services would also help.

-Jes.

Carrington Pool said...

I would have to agree with many of the comments. There are many programs that are offered to students for extra help, but I think there could be more. I know that a lot of the time I get with students in classes to work together on stuff because some of the help is not advertised as well as it could be. Certain majors need a lot of extra help and sometimes the teacher is not enough. It is easier to understand things from someone closer in age or someone close to the same level as you.

Megan Dennis said...

Everybody has touched on topics that came to my mind while reading this chapter. I agree that SIUe does do a decent job at offering supplemental help such as tutoring for most classes and SI sessions like people have mentioned. However, many people still have the stigma that going to get help means that they are inadequate or not smart enough either because they didn't need help in high school or when they were growing up, the "cool kids" didn't go to tutoring. Maybe if things were put in place to help emphasize that tutoring or other study aids can give you that needed edge in the classroom to give these services a more positive spin, then some may feel more comfortable using them.

justin church said...

I believe the best way for students and teachers to learn is through one on one contanct. To be able to openly ask questions one was hesistant to ask in a group of others will widen their horizon and allow them to possibly know the material more fully afterwards. Another good method for students to learn and succeed are group assignments/projects. To be able to get different perspectives on the same objective and having material explained in an alternate form can unlock doors to ultimate achievement for students. Having downtime like summer vacation causes the student to forget some possibly important material for courses later on in their schooling career. Having refreshers before the start of fall semesters may also allow students to achieve greater goals in school.

Janine Villard said...

A professor I once had talked a lot about how students "just come for the grades." Schools, once considered an institution for learning, are now just road blocks between a person and a piece of paper. Students go to class, not to always learn, but rather to get the highest or the passing grade they need. Therefore, instead of actually learning and retaining the material, many students will just memorize the study guides, pass the test, and then forget the material. Offering a new level of education in which the students actually enjoy going to class, can bring about a positive change to people's feelings about education. If students do not have to stress about maintaining a high GPA or a high grade and instead actually learn the material, maybe schools can foster a new, better kind of student and person.

Tyann Senaldi said...

I feel that KIPP is a wonderful opportunity. I think that all year-round schooling could definitely help students, and I know that SIUE is offering a scholarship for summer classes this year, but there are certain requirements. I believe this is a great way to get students involved all year round and help them succeed.

Tyann Senaldi said...

I think that KIPP is a wonderful opportunity. I think that all year-round studying really helps a student, and here at SIUE, there will be a sort of "bargain" this summer. I know that SIUE is offering a scholarship for the summer with some requirements attached. This is a great way to get students involved all year to work hard, but I think maybe it should be offered to most students instead of a select few.

Ashley Jeffers said...

I think that here at SIUE, programs offered from SOAR are very valuable to students. The Haley Honors Program is something all of us are proud to be in, and the extra chance we get to explore knowledge outside our boundaries is something, I feel, very interesting. As for excelling and opportunities for students on campus, I think the tutoring program here could be larger and offered in more areas; the tutoring offered now is awesome, so continuing the program is ideal. Anything that gives the students opportunity more to succeed is great.

Phillip P. Leatherman said...

The example of the rice patty was on point. The meticulous care that it took to produce that particular crop year in and year out is amazing. These are mostly uneducated individuals but when you look at the entire process they are actually running a enterprise. No, the farmers could never be considered share croppers.

I believe in giving young people responsibility, load them up, and push them to the breaking point. However, put in place the support needed to help them succeed. Those that make to college have proven that they have the mental capacity to be there, do they have the desire. I wonder where that question was posed.

Those that have the desire will reach down and pull out that extra something that sets them apart from the rest. The more little successes we have the more we strive to accomplish the larger ones.

I feel the military should be consulted on education procedures. Educators should put together the curriculum and the military should handle the execution. Anyone that has ever gone through basic training, no matter their feelings of the experience, will have to admit the military knows how to get the best out of a person.

Reading about the KIPP program reminded me of basic training. The curriculum was rigorous and kept the students engaged. From the time they woke up to the time they went to bed they were being educated. They did not have time to get in trouble. Their high school experience not only prepares them for the real world but I believe it also gives them a huge jump on their contemporaries.

Amy Crabtree said...

I believe that KIPP has the best strategy when it comes to offering students chances. Here at SIUE, there are people from all different kinds of backgrounds. If a university truly wants the students to succeed they will create the best possible environment. KIPP offers oppurtunities that create a chance for everyone to succeed. For those who work their way through college it is hard enough to stay on top of school work. Providing longer school days and creating semesters that go through the summer open up ways for students to better maintain information. It also provides a wider range so that those who work can still find available times for classes they need. College is all about bettering our education, which starts with what we have available to us.

Lawandria said...

There could be many steps taken at SIUE to improve students' learning here. Of course we do have tutoring sessions and office hours but the major problem is students utilizing those options. One thing that could help students in their classes is for SIUE to offer discussion sections for specific classes. These discussion sections could be tailored towards large classes that have more than forty students such as math and physics courses. SIUE could offer one credit hour for them. In these classes, students would be able to consistently work on problems covering the topics from lecture. Since students will receive a grade (attendance based) from these discussion sessions, they will attend, get extra practice on problem solving, and have the opportunity to get help from the TA teaching the class. This would be very beneficial to the students because this would help them excel in their classes from the additional practice received from taking the discussion.

Sheleia Phillips said...

KIPP is a great program. It reminds me a lot of our programs here, like SOAR and Haley Academy. Gladwell pointed out a key aspect in chapter 9, success is all about oppurtunity. The KIPP like stategies we could adopt would be things like weekly meetings and in class behavior reports from teachers. In the weekly meetings we would discuss possible academic and professional goals for the week. With the in-class behavior reports, teachers would be able to document if the student is paying attention and/or actively participating in class. I feel like these strategies would create the oppurtunity for students to take their academic life more seriously. Which will lead to their overall success.

Sheleia Phillips

emily Smith said...

I agree with what many people have said. The Haley program is a great thing. By having us wear our t-shirts and doing things on campus, it shows people that our world is very diverse. It should give them confidence to know that their peers can work together and do things, no matter where they come from. If there were more of those clubs out there, I guarantee that people would feel more comfortable.

Christine Vu said...

Our school provides many programs for students to outreach to for any help they need help for, and I think that it is up to the individual to get that help. If we were to accept all opportunities given to us, however, it is also great to alternatively step back, and review what we already have.

N.L.W. said...

Nia Williams (corrected response)

what kinds of “bargains” should the university or specific programs like the Haley Scholars Academy create to make opportunities for collegiate success available to more and more students here?

-Well the SIUE already offers summer school so that's a plus but the downfall is that not everyone can afford it and if they can they don't want to pay the amount that SIUE offers.
-For Haley Scholars Academy, one thing that could be done is to give its scholars minor projects/assignments to do throughout the summer to keep their minds active, especially for ones that are not attending summer school or some type of educational program. For example, like another book to read and blog about like we do now. Or a journal to keep about specific things that occur(that might have been life changing or etc...) throughout the summer. This idea could go for professors to give their future students assignments to do as well.

For example,
I attended Illinois College for my first year of college. As an incoming freshman, they required me and the rest of the incoming freshman class to read an assigned book before we started school in the fall. Not only did we have to read but we had to have an essay prepared for our first day of classes to turn in to our English professors. As a senior that just graduated from High School, I didn't want any type of work to do. All I wanted to do was relax and hangout with friends but this was a good assignment because it gave me something to do educational wise.

Another thing that the university should do is provide some type of summer intensive program for freshman (select few, on a first come first serve basis), that way when actual school starts, they will be more than prepared for college and know what to expect.

For Example,
As I said before I attended Illinois College my freshman year of college. As a high school graduate, I had no clue what college was going to be like. All I knew was what I was told.. that it was going to be a great time, I was going to have the time of my life, and that classes were going to be harder than before. As the summer was winding down Illinois College offered a program/scholarship to a select few of students(freshman). It was called the Yates Fellowship Program and those who go it were asked and required to attend a 3 week summer intensive right before school started. I was one of the few. The program consisted of basically getting a jump start on college before everyone else. For 3 weeks we attended a Math class for 2hours, English class for 2hours, and had guest speakers come talk to us about certain topics. We had homework, lots of it, and sometimes homework that we didn't find to possible to accomplish because we had so much and so little time from night time to the next class, the next day. We were offered breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we got paid (scholarship money) for attending the program, went on a few field trips, and got to meet new people and make connections with people before everyone else did. When I was offered the program I was upset because I didn't want to leave home 3 weeks earlier than what I originally planned but I'm glad I did. The program was intense and I and the rest of the students WERE MORE THAN PREPARED for college. The program was actually 5 times harder than what the actual college year turned out to be. But because the program was INTENSE, pushed me above and beyond my limit, I was prepared for college, found it be easier than what I prepared for, and ended up with great grades both semesters. Programs like this allow students to get great starts and give them the opportunity to achieve just like Marita. Her school was harder than her last but she went to it anyway and earned from it.

Kim Lee said...

Although it sounds unimportant, I think having the right organizational tools is very important in succeeding. Many times I have wanted to be organized, but a lot of good office supplies to help me do so are very expensive. It would be nice to have a cheaper way to organize myself in order to keep my focus intact.