Using a case study approach, the authors examine the democratic and civic engagement learning outcomes of a campus protest. The conceptual framework is built on the ideas outlined in Learning Reconsidered (Keeling 2004) and modeled in its pragmatic follow-up, Learning Reconsidered 2 (Keeling 2006). Results suggest student and campus administrator actions during a campus protest support democratic aims, student development, and digital age democracy. Recommendations for campus educators are included. This study extends previous discussion on activism’s journey from detrimental to developmental (Astin 1999; Chambers & Phelps 1993; Hamrick 1998; Hunter 1988) by mapping the learning environment through the interaction of protestor and university and by incorporating new forms of activism.
This is a preview of subscription content,to check access.
Access this article
Astin, A. W. (1993). What matters in college? Four critical years revisited. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Astin, A. W. (1999). Promoting leadership, service, and democracy: What higher education can do. In R. G. Bringle, R. Games, & E. A. Malloy (Eds.), Colleges and universities as citizens (pp. 31–47). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Astin, A. W., Astin, H. S., Bayer, A. E., & Bisconti, A. S. (1975). The power of protest. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Biddix, J. P., & Park, H. W. (2008). Online networks of student protest: The case of the living wage campaign. New Media & Society, 10(6), 871–891.
Borrego, S. E. (2006). Mapping the learning environment. In R. P. Keeling (Ed.), Learning Reconsidered 2: Implementing a campus-wide focus on the student experience (pp. 11–16). Washington, DC: The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, The American College Personnel Association.
Chambers, T., & Phelps, C. E. (1993). Student activism as a form of leadership and student development. NASPA Journal, 31(1), 19–29.
Eckert, P., & Henschel, P. (2000). Supporting community involvement in the digital age. In T. Ehrlich (Ed.), Civic responsibility and higher education (pp. 197–208). Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press.
Evans, N. J., Forney, D. S., & Guido-DiBrito, F. (1998). Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Friedman, T. L. (2005). The world is flat: A brief history of the twenty-first century. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
Gamson, W. A. (1975). The strategy of social protest. Homewood, IL: Dorsey.
Gutmann, A. (1987). Democratic education. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Hamrick, F. A. (1998). Democratic citizenship and student activism. Journal of College Student Development, 39(5), 449–460.
Healy v. James, 408 U.S. 169 (1972).
Howard, P., Rainie, L., & Jones, S. (2003). Days and nights on the Internet: The impact of a diffusing technology. In B. Wellman, & C. Haythornthwaite (Eds.), The internet in everyday life (pp. 45–73). London, England: Blackwell.
Hunter, D. E. (1988). Student activism: Growth through rebellion. In K. M. Miser (Ed.), Student affairs and campus dissent: Reflection of the past and challenge for the future (pp. 23–40). Washington, DC: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.
Keeling, R. P. (Ed.) (2004). Learning reconsidered: A campus-wide focus on the student experience. Washington, DC: The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, The American College Personnel Association.
Keeling, R. P. (Ed.) (2006). Learning reconsidered 2: Implementing a campus-wide focus on the student experience. Washington, DC: American College Personnel Association, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.
Komives, S. R., & Schoper, S. (2006). Developing learning outcomes. In R. P. Keeling (Ed.), Learning Reconsidered 2: Implementing a Campus-Wide Focus on the Student Experience pp. 17–41. Washington, DC: The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, The American College Personnel Association.
Kuh, G. D. (2001). Assessing what really matters to student learning: Inside the National Survey of Student Engagement. Change, 33(3), 10–17.
McAdam, D. (1983). Tactical innovation and the pace of insurgency. American Sociological Review, 48(6), 735–754.
McAdam, D., & Yang, S. (2002). The war at home: Antiwar protest and congressional voting, 1965-1973. American Sociological Review, 67(5), 696–721.
Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (2005). How college affects students. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Rheingold, H. (1991). Electronic democracy: The great equalizer. Whole Earth Review. Retrieved October 15, 2008, from http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1510/is_n71/ai_10806613
Rheingold, H. (2000). The virtual community: Homesteading on the electronic frontier (Rev. ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT.
Rhoads, R. A. (1998). Freedom’s web: Student activism in an age of cultural diversity. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins.
Rhoads, R. A., & Rhoades, G. (2005). Graduate employee unionization as symbol of and challenge to the corporatization of U. S. research universities. The Journal of Higher Education, 76(3), 243–275.
Rudy, W. (1996). The campus and a nation in crisis: From the American Revolution to Vietnam. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.
Sax, L. (2000). Citizenship development and the American college student. In T. Ehrlich (Ed.), Civic Responsibility and Higher Education (pp. 3–18). Phoenix, AZ: Oryx.
Semas, P. W. (1970, May 11). A week of tragedy: Disorders flare, 4 [sic] students die as U.S. actions in Cambodia inflames many campuses [Electronic Version]. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved January 15, 2009 from http://chronicle.com/free/v04/i31/31a00101.htm
Soule, S. A. (1997). The student divestment movement in the United States and tactical diffusion: The shantytown protest. Social Forces, 75(3), 855–882.
Strauss, A. L., & Corbin, J. M. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Strauss, A. L., & Corbin, J. M. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Vellela, T. (1988). New voices: Student activism in the '80s and '90s. Boston, MA: South End Press.
Washington University in St. Louis. (2007). Policy statement on campus disruptions. Retrieved February 1, 2007, from http://www.wustl.edu/policies/demonstrations-and-disruption.html
Wild, R. M. (2004). A generation’s responses to September 11, 2001. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Missouri—St. Louis). Dissertation Abstracts International, AAT 3197916.
J. Patrick Biddix
received his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with specialization in Higher Education from the University of Missouri–St. Louis. He is currently Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Research Methodology in the Department of Curriculum, Leadership, and Technology at Valdosta State University. His primary research interests include college student uses of technology outside the classroom, career pathways in student affairs, and research methodology.
Patricia A. Somers
received her Ph.D. in Educational Administration with specialization in Higher Education from the University of New Orleans. She is currently an Associate Professor of Higher Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Her primary research interests include college access, student persistence, student development theory, and two-year colleges.
Joseph L. Polman
received his Ph.D. in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University. He is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Technology in the Division of Teaching and Learning at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. His primary research interests include inquiry-based learning involving computers and the Internet as tools, viewed from a sociocultural perspective.
About this article
Cite this article
Biddix, J.P., Somers, P.A. & Polman, J.L. Protest Reconsidered: Identifying Democratic and Civic Engagement Learning Outcomes. Innov High Educ 34, 133–147 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10755-009-9101-8