Education, Democracy & Social Change

Education, Democracy & Social Change Cluster

The Education, Democracy, & Social Change cluster is committed to engaging in learning and work that values equity, inclusivity, and social justice. We believe in the power of education to cultivate the critical reflection and engaged citizenship needed to sustain democracy. We advocate for, and collaborate with, children, families, and communities, to promote the well-being of all members of our society.

Real-World Cluster Project

Developing Healthy, Contemplative Communities

More than 60 Plymouth State students from 10 different disciplines worked with real estate, investment, and small business professionals.

The Problem

Greater awareness of contemplative practices is needed to promote purposeful living, reduce suffering, and increase joy.

Awareness of the Issue

Students engage in contemplative inquiry through coursework and organizations, by creating campus contemplative spaces, and by responding to community input.

Collaborative Team Projects

The Arts & Technologies; Health & Human Enrichment; and Education, Democracy & Social Change clusters all contribute to this project.

Proposal Presentations

Integrated coursework and community engagement offers real-world experience and supports students’ academic and residential lives.

Improved Outcomes

Strengthened ties between PSU and local, national, and international contemplative and wellness organizations are providing students with new opportunities.

Undergraduate Degree ProgramsGraduate Degree ProgramsMinors/CertificatesCluster Projects
Plymouth Partners: Working Together To Improve Work-related Skills of Students With Disabilities
Project Submitter
Ann Berry, Pam Anneser & Roy Stever

Project Description: The Plymouth Partners Project would expand an existing partnership between Plymouth Regional High School and Plymouth State University. PSU undergraduate students engaged in a graphic design course called AG3550 PSU School Design Company, taught by Dr. Pam Anneser, will work with Matt and his students to create a name, logo, business card and trifold brochure. This will enable Matt to leave contact information and information about the services his students can provide with potential clients. PSU Student Design Company takes on several projects like this each year and students utilize their graphic design skills in real world-situated projects. Pam has agreed to involve her students in the Plymouth Partners Project starting in January of 2017. Following the design of a logo, slogan, and informational materials, the PSU Print Depot will be used to engage PSU students in the printing of about 125 brochures. Outside venues have been recommended for the printing of the business cards as the Print Depot does not currently offer that service. Matt will locate additional appropriate organizations and businesses to engage his students using the promotional and information materials created through this Cluster project. Ann Berry will assist the project by coordinating the efforts between project partners and being a liaison for PSU faculty and students, PRHS, and outside organizations and businesses. This may involve some minimal travel.

In addition, this spring, or possibly next fall, PSU Business and Marketing undergraduate students in either the BU3460 Small Business Marketing and Operations, BU3380 Business Innovation, or BU3040 Special Topics/Marketing course, taught by Roy Stever, will be involved and work with Matt and his PRHS students to develop a marketing plan. The aim will be to promote and expand the services that the PRHS students with disabilities provide to other regional organizations and businesses. Following the development of a marketing plan, revisions to the business cards and brochures will be made by the Student Design Company to incorporate additional ideas and emphasis from the marketing plan. Pam and Roy have jointly worked on similar projects in the past involving PSU marketing and graphic design student collaboration. At this point an additional run of the revised business cards and brochures will be printed. Matt, guided by the marketing plan, will continue to seek out organizations and businesses that align with his vision of involving his students with disabilities in job-related tasks. The potential for the number of community partners involved with this project will continue to grow. Ann Berry, and MEd Special Education students as part of a ED 6900 Capstone project, will assist by coordinating the efforts between project partners. Ann will continue to serve as a liaison between PSU faculty and students, PRHS, and outside organizations and businesses. This may involve some minimal travel.

Peace Child
Project Submitter
Patricia Lindberg

Project Description: Peace Child is an interdisciplinary project combining elements of music, movement, theatre, visual arts, education and social change. Professors Lindberg, Waltman and Lind will work with PSU Graduate Students in Integrated Arts, School Counseling, School Psychology, and Education, and undergraduates in Education and Social Work, as well as the Plymouth Parks and Recreation Department, the Flying Monkey Performance Center and Movie House, 35 children in grades 3-8 from the Plymouth area and the Kids4Peace Organization to realize this proposal.

The purpose of the project will be to explore concepts of peace and different ways to develop bridges to peace and understanding between three different religions (Christianity, Judaism and Muslim) through a series of interactive interpersonal activities and the producing of an original musical theatrical performance directed by Professor Lindberg. Peace Child will incorporate music created and taught by William Ogmundson, movement choreographed by Darren Biggart, and artwork developed and facilitated by Timm Judas and Stacey Lucas, as well as the writings of hundreds of children throughout New Hampshire. The PSU professors, guest artists and the Kids4Peace staff will be assisted in their efforts by Integrated Arts, Education, Counselor Education and School Psychology, and Social Work majors through coursework and elected participation in the Cluster project.

Plymouth State University Workshop Series
Project Submitter
Christina Flanders

Project Description: The proposed project is the creation of a workshop series with topics covering a range of interests to school-related professionals. One goal of the workshop series will be to increase our programs’ ability to provide professional development opportunities to our current site supervisors at no or minimal cost and to other school professionals for a nominal fee (less than a typical professional development fee). Undergraduate and graduate students from our university could attend at no cost. The series will be presented in both Plymouth and Concord locations on Fridays starting spring 2017 and over the course of the 2017-2018 school year. Preliminary surveys have been collected from over 200 school professionals, largely school counselors and school psychologists, which have identified several topics of high interest. These topics will be covered first and can be presented by our PSU faculty and graduate students.

A Linked Learning Community investigation of Individual Experiences of the Holocaust
Project Submitter
Brandon Haas

Maria Sanders

Project Description: Students will travel to Boston for a daytrip in order to engage in an experiential study of the content and processes of their First Year Seminar/Thinking for Yourself Linked Learning Community Course. This trip will allow students to engage in conversation with a Holocaust Survivor through collaboration with Facing History and Ourselves, an educational non-profit in Brookline, MA. Following this meeting, students will travel to the Pucker Gallery where the gallery owner will facilitate a discussion of the artwork of Samuel Bak, a survivor or the Holocaust and world-renowned artist. Students will then have the opportunity to view and analyze the Bak collection as they investigate the role of art and survivor testimony in the legacy of learning about the Holocaust.

Through this project, students will engage deeply with the content of the linked courses as they consider how the various elements of testimony and art contribute to the legacy of the Holocaust.

From Refugee Camp to Project
Project Submitter
Amanda Whitworth

Lenore Sousa

Project Description: This project serves as a model/pilot program of collaboration between Plymouth State University Dance Division and General Education Creative Thought Directions and the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire that focuses on creativity and identity. It engages students in both higher education and k-12 public schools in dance performance/lecture/class with professional artists.It is built around the teaching and performance opportunities created by New England Foundation of the Arts artist, hip hop dancer, choreographer and theater artist Sokeo Ros. He excels at an urban art form that our rural students generally encounter only through digital media. And his personal and artistic story is that of a refugee whose family fled genocide in Cambodia, survived in a refugee camp and made their way to America to start a new life. From Refugee Camp to Project is Sokeo’s one man show (and also the title of this project) that tells the story of an individual who survived the refugee camps, thus making it to the United States where he lived in a low income neighborhood that was filled with gangs, poverty and violence.