What would college be without the student? Ultimately, this question contains a rhetorical idea that couldn’t necessarily be answered. A school without it’s students would not be a school at all. Since students are essential to colleges, maintaining innovative approaches to teaching students is  indispensable. Different approaches on contributing to student’s learning habits is an interest to Alexander W. Astin. In “Student Involvement: A Developmental Theory for Higher Education,” Astin explains “student involvement refers to the amount of physical and psychological energy that the student devotes to the academic experience” (518). Astin argues that students who are involved heavily with the school are the most successful and suggests “the theory of involvement emphasizes active participation of the student in the learning process” (522).


Although it’s not entirely up to the academic institution to hold students hands to each class, involved faculty is vital to student’s education. Instead of the typical lecture hall classes that forces students to take notes on information that’s almost impossible to keep up with, lecturers are creating new and enticing classes that emphasize involved students. Lynda Barry is one professor who dabbles in the idea of student involvement by incorporating several subjects, such as science, art, and English into one course, typically called interdisciplinary studies. Here is a flyer Barry made to intrigue students to sign up for her class:


Barry incorporates art into her everyday class to get the students thinking about their own ideas and connects those ideas to the material in the classroom. The classes she teaches requires students to draw random people or events or write in a journal about observations made throughout their day. Barry’s approach somewhat forces students to be mindful in their studies instead of scurrying down notes from monotonous lecture. Astin and Barry might agree that getting students involved with the material at hand would greatly improve the experience and outcome of a college education.


Works Cited

Astin, Alexander. “Student Involvement: A Developmental Theory for Higher Education.” Journal of College Student Development. 1999. Web.

Barry, Lynda. Syllabus. Drawn & Quarterly, 2015. Print.


#traditionalpedagogy #innovativeteachers #involvedstudents #Astin #Barry