Joining us on air this past Sunday was Dr. Scot Evans, faculty member extraordinaire in the School of Education and Human Development. Dr. Evans shared with us his critique and thoughts on the limitations and ethical dilemmas of what we call ‘prevention science’: the application of science to preventing human suffering. As a critical researcher Dr. Evans helped clarify why (and when) it can in fact be harmful to apply ‘evidence-based programs’ that emerge from Prevention Science to communities that are not made to adapt to a communities needs and/or relevant to the local context or aimed at the root causes of the human suffering we are working to address.
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RadioActive – But ‘evidence based practice’ sounds so pretty! The ethical dilemmas and limitations of prevention science
To fully understand why the Independent Living programs were created, and ensure that they are implemented to best fulfill their purpose, it is necessary to think about how children are normally raised by their own families. Parents are responsible for ensuring their children are trained in the family’s values and receive discipline to inculcate those values. Parents also help with their children’s formal education. We don’t often think about the day-to-day, common-sense information that parents also impart to their children. And until the “Road to Independence Act” was passed in Florida, children’s advocates did not focus much, if at all, on ensuring that foster children somehow learned this day-to-day information. Clearly, ensuring that foster children receive an appropriate formal education and health care services, and that they live in an appropriate foster home, can itself be a full-time endeavor.
The statistics, however, indicate just how important it is that foster children also learn all those things that parents typically impart to their children on an informal, daily basis. These things include: budgeting and money management, including how to write a check, and how using credit cards can increase the cost of purchases; menu planning, shopping and cooking; completing forms and applications; knowledge about paying taxes and timely filing tax returns; dressing appropriately for job interviews; and on and on. Those children fortunate enough to live in a family foster home, and to be stable in that foster home, can learn these things. But foster children who are moved frequently, or who live in group homes where these tasks are not modeled, simply do not learn these things. And when these foster children graduate from the system at age 18, they usually lose the adult supports they had; they are frequently unable to successfully perform the activities of adult daily living. Past studies have shown that approximately 50% of adults who aged out of the foster care system experienced homelessness and/or joblessness, were welfare recipients, or engaged in criminal activities for which they were imprisoned. This painted a grim portrait of life after foster care.
Social Theory may, to many, seem irrelevant to our everyday lives, difficult to understand and downright dry. That is until you hear it from the mouth of Dr. John Murphy from the Faculty of Sociology at UM. Dr. Murphy joined us on air to explain how theory can connect to our everyday lives, and he went on to tell us how theory can impact us in how we conceptualize and act towards social change. What better way to dip our toes into the proverbial sea of social theory, then to have a theorist join us on air to push us to think about theory and its connection to the practical world in new and exciting ways. Dr. Murphy provides the necessary definitions, context and tangible on the ground examples to highlight the importance and all around awesomeness of social theory!
Critical consciousness is someone’s ability and awareness to critique the social structures around them that oppress and lead to human suffering, while simultaneously having the awareness that we have the ability to change these oppressive structures. Our guest Susie Paterson and me, your host Natalie, took listeners through personal stories and trajectories into critical consciousness: Those moments in life that helped expose the world and its oppressive structures. Susie navigated listeners through a complex and abstract concept with great examples of how this plays out in real life, and left us all with the advice - “go read everything”! Now that’s some advice I can get behind!
Traditional classroom environments have become incredibly normalized in how they are thought about and how they look all the way from kindergarten through our higher education – A new movement in Education challenges the “normal” way of doing/teaching/learning and is instead opting to “Flip the Classroom”. This week on RadioActive, we dug into the Flipped Classroom and the concept of Critical Pedagogy with Lindsay Buckingham-Rivard, a college instructor in Canada, who is pushing the boundaries of her classroom to try new and creative ways of engaging in learning with her students. She shared her perspectives, her pedagogy and examples from her classroom to highlight the different facets of this new Educational Movement
Lauren Book, founder of Lauren’s Kids, was a victim of childhood sexual abuse for six years at the hands of her nanny. Armed with the knowledge that 95 percent of sexual abuse is preventable through education and awareness, Lauren has worked to turn her horrific personal experience into a vehicle to prevent childhood sexual abuse and heal survivors by starting Lauren’s Kids. Lauren’s Kids encourages victims to “shine a light in dark places” and “shed the shame.”
An official 501(c)3, Lauren’s Kids is based in South Florida and educates adults and children about sexual abuse prevention through in-school curriculum, awareness campaigns and speaking engagements around the country and world. Lauren’s Kids holds an annual, statewide “Walk in My Shoes” event, which brings together survivors and advocates on a 1,500-mile walk across Florida to raise awareness and promote supportive legislation. The foundation has helped advocate for the passage of more than two dozen laws to support survivors and protect children from predators.
In 2012 our nation witnessed history in the making when President Obama‘s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was made law. Last june, the Supreme Court upheld the premise of Obamacare, which applied a penalty to people who do not purchase health insurance. Now with the law in place, the success of public health care rides on the enrollment of young adults under the age of 35 to offset the cost of health insurance for the elderly. How do University of Miami students feel about this? WVUM News reporter Chloe Herring finds out student opinions on this and some other key controversial issues regarding Obamacare.
Americans understand smoking is bad, but, how bad is a fairly gray area. Biomedical Engineering PhD candidate Carlos Carballosa and UM Miller School of Medicine spearheaded brand new research on how nicotine hinders the role stem cells play when recovering from an injury. Carlos’ research has found that the more nicotine in your system, the longer the recovery.
Chris Wittyngham, WVUM Sports director, reporting:
After years as a football program, a university, and a leadership structure in flux, the NCAA finally handed down sanctions to the University of Miami in relation to the Nevin Shapiro allegations. Many of those allegations were proven true in the report from the Committee on Infractions, but a combination of self-imposed penalties and a tainted investigation by the NCAA allowed Miami to get handed relatively tame penalties.
The most relevant penalties are 9 scholarship reductions over 3 years for the football program, 3 scholarship reductions over 3 years for the basketball program, and a 3 year probationary period that begun Wednesday. With the conclusion of the investigation and the process with the NCAA, Miami will be looking on to several things.
The first is a period for the football program that will hopefully thrive for the first time in a long time. Miami heads into the weekend at 6-0 and ranked #7 in the BCS rankings. Now that this cloud of uncertainty has been lifted, it certainly will allow the program to operate more effective.
Second is a period of further compliance, something discussed by UM President Donna Shalala and Athletic Director Blake James ad nauseam in the aftermath of the announcement. They understand that they simply cannot allow this to happen again and have already implemented measures to do so.
Third is moving on. This era of Miami Hurricanes history has been largely mired by this scandal and it has hung over everything athletically and otherwise that has happened at the University. All parties involved will be glad to move on.