Date of Award

Spring 2004

Document Type





This research project analyzes student learning in a Principles of Sociology course and explores the impact of participation in a fourth credit option discussion group on the development of students' sociological imagination and sense of civic responsibility. I used various theoretical approaches to the Scholarship of Teaching and Leaming to provide direction and insight as I designed and led the discussion group to emphasize deep understanding of the issues of race, gender, and inequality. Pre- and post-course surveys were administered to the students to determine the impact of the discussion group on learning, and content analysis of reflection papers and class discussion was used. Data from these surveys indicate that the students in the Principles course developed a greater sense of sociological imagination, and that this result increased for students who participated in the discussion group. Student self learning evaluations and reflection papers show that the discussion group accomplished the course objectives by fostering a deeper understanding of race, gender, and inequality issues.