This is an overview of Individual Assignment #1A & 1B: Your Sociologically-Based Academic Journey (AJ) Paper. This assignment is a personal reflection and an educational analysis of an important developmental and socialization experience. The draft of your AJ Paper (#1A) should be 2.5 – 4 pp. and the final AJ Paper (#1B) 4 – 8 pp. or no more than 10 pp. (10-12 size font, single- or double-spaced). For the draft, you can use bullets, a formal outline, or write your thoughts using complete sentences and paragraphs. Make sure your draft demonstrates that you put in the time and effort expected: personal reflections, critical thinking, creativity, and relevant references. Review the paper details including the requirements noted below. Do your best to address all the areas outlined for the draft. Consider using the attached template (you can remove the heading and insert your information). USE YOUR DRAFT TO HELP YOU COMPLETE YOUR FINAL AJ PAPER.
Identify one of the following periods in your academic journey that you would like to reflect on and discuss using a sociology of education perspective: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, Community College, or University Level. State why you selected this period. Describe the context of the school, college, or university. In addition to a sociology of education perspective, you can also include a perspective from psychology, ethnic studies, or another appropriate social science.
Select two theories or concepts (or one theory and concept) from sociology, psychology, or education (or another related area) to analyze your academic journey. Discuss the main points of the theories or concepts and note why you feel they are relevant to your experience. Clearly state the theories or concepts you decide to use up front in your paper. Note the name of the recognized researcher/scholar who advanced the theories or concepts. Use the theories or concepts presented in this course—from the readings, reports, the professor’s lecture notes, etc. You can use applicable concepts and theories you’ve learned in other courses or from your own research.
• In telling your educational story, use the theories or concepts to highlight the factors that promoted or hindered your development personally, socially, and academically. Address all three areas. You can talk about the promotion aspects and hindrances (or either one). Specifically, discuss: the influential people (parents, siblings, peers, teachers, role models, etc.); impactful programs (course curriculums, other academic enrichment, sports, community service, faith-based endeavors, ethnic cultural activities, etc.); memorable places (classrooms, labs, libraries, recreation fields, home environments, community spaces, etc.); and significant psychosocial dynamics (mindsets, feelings, and behaviors resulting from the interrelation of mental states, emotional well-being, social factors, etc.).
Explain how this period and related educational experiences prepared you for the subsequent educational phase in your life (the educational level immediately following the one you selected to analyze).
Point out ways in which this period and related educational experiences shaped you as a student, placed you on an academic path, and account for what you have achieved thus far in your scholastic life.
Conclude your academic journey by delineating both the theoretical and practical takeaways. In discussing the former, keep in mind a perspective from sociology, psychology, or another relevant theoretical perspective and speak to a scholarly and research-oriented community. For the latter, keep in mind your real-world experience and speak to students and practitioners who are seeking pragmatic advice. Identify at least two takeaways under each area.
In your paper, reference at least two sources and cite accordingly (use APA, ASA, MLA, etc.). One of the sources should be from an empirical, research-based journal, book chapter, or report of some sort. You can use course materials as part of your references, including the professor’s lecture slides.
Structure your paper in the following manner: Title your paper “An Analysis of My Educational Journey.” Or, come up with your own descriptive and catchy title. Include commonly used essay sections, such as an introduction, body, conclusion, and references. Use headings and sub-headings to clearly identify the key areas of your paper (most of the underlined/bolded areas noted in the first six bullets above).
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