CIRCEA Student View
|CIRCEThe Center for Instructional Research and Curriculum Evaluationis
first and foremost a network of personal associations. The bonds
of these associations are professional ones, to be sure, stemming from
interest and competency in social science; the humanities, instructional
research and program evaluation; but they are personal bonds nonetheless.
They extend through the University campus, the state and the nation, and
cut across many levels and areas of expertise.
In the College of Education, graduate students interact with professors,
department heads, and the Dean. All of these people and colleagues
from other specialized agencies (Office of Instructional Research, Council
on Program Evaluation) and disciplines (psychology, sociology, history,
geography, philosophy, computer science, economics) attend CIRCE gatherings
and sack lunches, seminars where faculty members and graduate students
have the opportunity to present ideas and obtain feedback through informal
discussions. The graduate students themselves meet in various ways
to exchange ideas and to lend support. This "web of associations"
is perhaps the most unique value of CIRCE and one that is of great importance
to beginning graduate students looking for areas in which (and people "with
which") to specialize. Here's what previous CIRCE graduate students
There are opportunities for learning everywhere. You can learn
as much by hanging around CIRCE as you do in classes. The informal
conversations are important.
Students shouldn't expect guidelines or structure. Part of
your learning is adjusting to the lack of structure or
making your own.
In CIRCE students are free to talk with professors and they will be responsive. Students shouldn't be afraid to approach them. There will be opportunities from time to time to become involved with the specialized interests or projects of individual faculty members.
Students work on projects such as Environmental Education, the NSF
Case Studies and the ISU Arts in Education Workshops Evaluation.
Sometimes students are assigned to these projects and at other times they
might have to use their initiative to discover opportunities and to become
The steady stream of visitors, many from other countries, affords a grad student opportunities to learn about education and evaluation activities in differing societal contexts, from different perspectives. This leads to an increased depth of understanding not often available.
Graduate students have a variety of projects they can work on, but they must also be prepared to do some footwork. Responsibilities vary from doing and writing evaluations and other types of theoretical work, such as working on a new approach to measuring knowledge ability, to setting up evaluation conferences, rearranging the CIRCE library, and filing.
CIRCE encourages the growth of individual interests.
It's a nice place to be.
The essence of CIRCE is defined by the faculty members who have had
offices in the CIRCE area: Robert Stake, Del Hamisch, Jack Easley, Lizanne
DeStefano, and Klaus Witz. Long-time friends and working associates
Terry Denny, Jacquie Hill, Nick Burbules and Liora Bresler join them as
the theoreticians and practitioners that make CIRCE go, along with the
many long-term visitors and graduate students. These people have
played leading roles in assisting national curricular projects and professional
associations, as well as helping federal and state agencies design evaluation
plans and activities.
In summary, the opportunities for developing broad social and educational
perspectives, specific research and evaluation skills, and close-- but
at the same dm broad -ranging-- professional associations can all be found
at the Center for Instructional Research and Curriculum Evaluation.