Teaching Students Critical Inquiry and Civic Engagement

Tricia Fulks Kelley and I started a conversation last year about ways to build an online community built upon inquiry and civic engagement. We assembled an amazing, student-centered development team with representatives from the Department of English, the Department of Communication, EKU Libraries, the Noel Studio, the Student Success Center, and First-Year Courses. Today, our team was awarded an Eastern Kentucky University QEP Leadership Grant. EKU’s Quality Enhancement Program, “’Read with Purpose,’ seeks to develop critical readers who are guided by purposeful inquiry.” In Fall 2020, we will pilot a scaffolded arc assignment taught in English and First-Year Seminar learning communities. It will focus on the campus newspaper, the Eastern Progress, teaching students critical reading skills in a way that encourages campus engagement. Students will learn about media and information literacy, identify campus issues of personal or public importance, and explore the EKU resources and policies designed help students succeed. At the end of the semester, our goal is for students to engage with an issue they care about by producing media suitable for the campus newspaper.

Learn more about the Quality Enhancement Program.

Learn more about the Eastern Progress.

Student masks painted to help them think about how they perceive themselves and how they are perceived by others.

Travis L. MartinPhD, is founding director of the Kentucky Center for Veterans Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. He has established several nationally recognized programs to support returning veterans in higher education and the non-profit sector. A scholar of American literature, psychoanalytic trauma theory, and social theory, Dr. Martin presents frequently at conferences and universities. He has published dozens of research articles and creative short works on veterans’ issues. A former sergeant in the U.S. Army, he served during two deployments in the Iraq War (2003-04 & 2005). His book War and Homecoming: Veteran Identity and the Post-9/11 Generation is slated for publication with the University Press of Kentucky in 2022. He resides in Richmond, KY.