Year 2024 — Volume 18 — Issue 35

Holistic Healing: International Medical Students Share Their Narratives Around Stress, Anxiety, and Mental Health
Pages: 1-20

This paper is a narrative that explores the experiences of two medical students, Annabel Ricci and Richard Rubin. At the age of 18, they each moved away to attend a rigorous program. Throughout the paper, they discuss how they have been affected by the stresses of attending an international medical school on a Caribbean island, and what they have each done to cope and strive to succeed personally and academically. They describe their experiences using a holistic theoretical framework.
Annabel Ricci and Richard Rubin


Political and Civic Engagement among Free School Alumni: A Range of Outcomes
Pages: 21-57

Civic and political engagement are at an inflection point in the United States. While some forms of engagement are on a negative path (e.g. contested civic education, dwindling community group membership), other forms are increasing (e.g. unionization, volunteerism, protests) (Atwell, Stillerman, Bridgeland, 2021). Many scholars and activists claim that one way to increase civic and political engagement is through civic education, yet most studies of civic education deal with conventional public schools. Minimal attention has been paid to the civic/political engagement potential of alternative forms of education. This article seeks to add to the relatively small body of knowledge about democratic free schools and their outcomes, especially as related to civic and political engagement. The Albany Free School (AFS) is a democratic free school where students self-direct their education. Such schools are part of a counter-hegemonic movement in the United States that dates back to the early 20th century and which has both anarchist and libertarian roots (von Duyke, 2013). Such schools purport to create spaces where students can develop critical authorial agency (Matusov, 2020) and habits/skills of engagement in the political/civic sphere. This article, based on data from interviews conducted with 18 alumni of the AFS, focuses specifically on discussions of alumni political and/or civic engagement and begins with a literature review defining how political and civic engagement manifests, and then moves into exploring the existing literature on the political/civic engagement-related outcomes of democratic free schools. This literature is mixed as to whether such schools are successful at nurturing such engagement, and the findings of the data collected in this study confirm these mixed outcomes. The article concludes with a discussion of the paradox presented in democratic education between having no defined curricular endpoints and a declared set of characteristics and dispositions that are sought.
Kristan Morrison


Succinctly Science: How Poetry Can Help Make Science Accessible and Enjoyable
Pages: 58-78

STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are a valuable part of a student’s education. However, not all students find STEM subjects engaging on their own. This paper investigates the relationship between science and poetry and how these seemingly disparate subjects can be used in tandem to better understand and explore each other. This site-specific case study offers a glimpse into how a single alternative classroom located in the state of Georgia linked scientific and poetic inquiry to increase student understanding and enjoyment of science and writing. Results show that science and poetry work synergistically to foster an environment of active learning across multiple age groups.
Nancy Heiss