Published: September 29, 2011
Professor Olga Winbush of the School of Human Development and Family Studies traveled to New England during the summer break to present at the Institute on Descriptive Inquiry conference held at Bennington College in Bennington, Vt. Dr. Winbush’s presentation examined the use of Descriptive Inquiry in African-American children’s literacy acquisition.
“Descriptive Inquiry is a methodology designed to explore and examine educational practices that surround education and learner development,” said Dr. Winbush on the topic. “My presentation, as all of the presentations and discussions, took place within a seminar style format, where I shared samples of African-American children’s writings within descriptive inquiry. The participants described how they saw the styles of writing, structure, tone, connections, presence of the child and the child’s thoughts, feelings, and ideas, and from there these writings were used to build upon developing theory, which I presented, on the ways in which African-American children engage in and develop literacy.”
Dr. Winbush’s remarks were drawn from her work, documentation, and research that she did as the literacy curriculum consultant at an after-school program in Pasadena called Bridging Resources in Technology and Education. She served as a program consultant for six years until its conclusion in 2008.
This is the first time Dr. Winbush has presented at the institute, which advances Descriptive Inquiry research and work done by Patricia Carini, Cecelia Traugh, the Prospect Center for Education and Research, and the Institute on Descriptive Inquiry based in Vermont and New York.
Back at Pacific Oaks, Dr. Winbush uses Descriptive Inquiry in four of her courses: HD 380 Children’s Autobiographical Narratives as Social Justice Curriculum, HD 580 Advanced Studies in Children’s Autobiographical Narratives as Social Justice Curriculum, HD 400 Working with Children in a Diverse World and HD 600 Advanced Studies in Working with Children in a Diverse World, and a modified sampling of Descriptive Inquiry in HD 606 Advanced Studies in Emergent Curriculum: Reflecting Learners’ Lives. In addition, Descriptive Inquiry is used in assessment of student learning throughout Human Development’s core courses.
Click here to learn more about Dr. Winbush’s work.