WR 123, Prof. C. Agatucci
Research Proposal: Final Draft
18 April 2002
1. Research Topic Introduction
(a) The research topic I have chosen for Writing 123 is focused on our mental health system, what services are provided in Bend, and what services are needed. The research question I wish to answer is: Homelessness among the chronically mentally ill is a community problem in Bend as well as elsewhere in the United States: As a community, how can we address this problem? I have chosen this topic partly as a result of my interest developed from my psychology professor last term. She mentioned in class that there are some chronically mentally ill (schizophrenic) people who live in Juniper Park. Additionally, I recently viewed a program on 60 Minutes which profiled a community in Geel, Belgium, that has a unique way to care for the mentally ill in their community. I was intrigued by the total community commitment and support of the mentally ill. In Geel, Belgium, you never see someone sleeping on the street. I wanted to further investigate their system for caring for the mentally ill and see if their methods could be duplicated in other communities, such as in the United States. If some of the methods used in Geel, Belgium, could be used elsewhere, as in Bend, this might have significant implications for the services we can provide in Bend. I feel as a community, we have a responsibility to care for those who are unable to care for themselves. I do not feel it is acceptable to have the chronically mentally ill living in our community parks or on the streets. I think some of our social problems are just accepted as part of living in a community and perhaps they are not addressed as they should be. In my research, I discovered a model program that was started in Long Beach, California, as a result of the frustration and dissatisfaction of family members of mentally ill, as well as professionals and business people who had an interest in improving the mental health system. As a result, the Village Integrated Service Agency in Long Beach, California, has received a growing amount of attention and commendation as a model mental health program. It incorporates a number of innovative approaches that may be valuable in effecting widespread system change.
(b) I believe this is a very appropriate topic for Writing 123. It fits in with the courses I have studied and presents a very real problem in Bend that can be addressed in a research topic. Until I viewed the program that focused on Geel, Belgium, and their unique methods for providing for the mentally ill, I had not considered other community options for addressing the problem of homelessness of the mentally ill. It is a very effective method to view problems from other perspectives to arrive at real solutions that may be helpful and appropriate in our community in dealing with this social problem.
(c) I intend to use the American Psychological Association (APA) documentation system for this research topic. When I consulted our textbook regarding citation formats, I learned that The APA form is a variant of the author-date system of citing sources, used in the field of psychology and often in other behavioral sciences (Hubbuch, 2002).
2.Research Question and Working Hypothesis
(a)My research topic is: Homelessness among the chronically mentally ill is a community problem in Bend as well as elsewhere in the United States: As a community, how can we address this problem?
(b)Working hypothesis: This is a problem not only in Bend, but in large, economically sound communities, as well. It is a problem that must be addressed as a community to have a working, caring system to provide for the mentally ill who are homeless. This involves having a community home to provide for these homeless individuals, having a foster care system that supplements a community home and having people receiving these servicesbe treated with respect, dignity and without labeling or discrimination of any type (CareLink, 2002).
3. Research Strategy Description
(a)What do I need to discover in my research?
In the US you see many homeless people. In Bend we have homelessness. My psychology professor stated there are probably five or six schizophrenic people living in Juniper Park. Our mental health system fails to care for the chronically mentally ill.
Is our mental health system adequate? What services are provided in Bend? Why are the chronically mentally ill homeless? What services are needed in Bend?
There is a different approach for the care of the mentally ill in Geel, Belgium. You never see a person sleeping on the street there. They seem to have a successful way to care for the mentally ill.
How do the people in Geel, Belgium care for the mentally ill? What accounts for the success of their methods? Would this model be transferable to other places, i.e., cities in the United States? Bend? If not, why not?
The Village Integrated Service Agency in Long Beach, California, has received a growing amount of attention and commendation as a model mental health program. It incorporates a number of innovative approaches that may be valuable in effecting widespread system change. Dr. Mark Ragins, who is involved with the Village Integrated Service Agency, visited Geel, Belgium, and observed their system of care for the mentally ill in his process of gaining a worldwide perspective of psychiatric rehabilitation.
What is the Village Integrated Service Agency? How did it get started and why? What is it doing differently and what is successful, not successful? Would this approach work elsewhere? In Bend?
(b) Where will I look for answers?
I used Ebsco Host database for a web search of key terms: mental health; mental illness; psychiatric rehabilitation, Geel, Belgium. I have also searched Google.com. I have found useful journal articles relating to my topic, including an article in the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, Summer 2000, outlining and describing the Denver approach which combines the best rehabilitation models and influences into one system of rehabilitation services. Additionally, I discovered information about The Village Integrated Service Agency in Long Beach, California, which incorporates a number of innovative approaches in care for the mentally ill.
I asked the librarian at the COCC library for sources of information about services provided in Bend. She directed me to the appropriate website and the new Deschutes County Mental Health office located at 2577 NE Courtney in Bend to obtain information on what services are currently available in Bend. I visited the new office in Bend and obtained a pamphlet of information describing the services currently provided.
I have requested two books through interlibrary loan, Introduction to Psychiatric Rehabilitation and The Role of the Family in Psychiatric Rehabilitation, which I hope will offer some valuable insight into how the family and community can integrate care for the mentally ill.
Additionally, I have ordered a transcript of the 60 Minutes program concerning the unique care the community of Geel, Belgium, provides for the mentally ill. Viewing this program provided me with a new awareness and heightened interest to investigate this topic further.
Anthony, W. A. (2001) Vision for Psychiatricrehabilitation Research. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 25, 1. (Journal Article)
Baxter, E. (1997) An Alternative Approach to Recovery-St. Dimpna.
<http://www.mentalhealthconsumers.org/connet/cnn/9711/alternative.htm> [Accessed 4 Apr 2002]. (Article)
Fallot, R. D., Ph.D. (2001) Spirituality and Religion in Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Recovery from Mental Illness. International Review of Psychiatry, 13, 110. (Journal Article)
Hubbuch, S. M. (2002). Writing Research Papers Across the Curriculum. Boston:Heinle & Heinle. (Book)
Principles of Psychiatric Rehabilitation. CareLink [accessed 12 Apr 2002]. (Website)
Ragins, M., MD. History and Overview of the Village. The Village Integrated Service Agency. <http://www.village-isa.org/Ragins%20Papers/Hist.%20&%20Oveview.> [Accessed 4 Apr 2002] (Article)
Ragins, M., MD. (2000) A Personal Worldwide Perspective of Psychiatric Rehabilitation. The Village Integrated Service Agency. <http://www.village-isa.org/Ragins%20Papers/worldwide_perspective.htm> [Accessed 4 Apr 2002]. (Article)
Shern, D. L.; Tsemberis, S.; Anthony, W.; Lovell, A. M.; Richmond, L.; Felton, C. J.; Winarski, J.; Cohen, M. (2000) Serving Street-dwelling Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities: Outcomes of a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Clinical Trial. American Journal of Public Health, 90, 1873. (Journal Article)
Smith, G., (Executive Director). Deschutes County Mental Health. N.p.:n.p., n.d.
[Pamphlet obtained 12 Apr 2002]
Spaniol, L., et al. The Role of the Family in Psychiatric Rehabilitation. (Book requested through interlibrary loan 4/12/02)
Spaniol, L., et al. Introduction to Psychiatric Rehabilitation. (Book requested through interlibrary loan 4/12/02)
© Lucy Burrows, 2002
In 1912, Pablo Picasso, an avid painter of nature and still life, tore part of a makeshift tablecloth and glued it to his painting, Still Life with Chair Caning, and thus, by adding different items to aid his painting, he began the art of collage making. (Pablo Picasso – Still Life with Chair Canning). A collage is simply a group of objects arranged together to create a complete image of an idea, theme, or memory. For example, David Modler created a collage called “Big Bug” to represent the irony that is the importance of insects to our natural world in comparison to their size. The bug in the image is the smallest feature of the collage yet it is to be viewed as the most important aspect (Modler, David). All these parts of a collage collaborate together to create a unifying theme or message and can be used as a helpful tool in education.
Statement of Purpose
I propose that each student make an artistic collage to be presented to the class that will symbolize the context, audience, setting, structure or any key ideas found in one of the readings this semester. Students who make a collage will be able to drop the lowest quiz grade.
Plan of Action
The students will have one week from the announcement of the project to complete the collage and prepare a presentation for it. Each student must choose one reading that we have done so far or will read in the future, and no two students may choose the same work. Conflict with students wanting to present the same work will be resolved by a first come first serve basis. The students will be given a rubric with the exact requirements of the project and what the purpose of the project is.
I will make the rubric myself and submit it for approval, or we can use the rubric that I have attached.
Benefits of Collage Proposal
- Making a collage would allow the students to think and inspect the readings and ideas visually (Rodrigo, “Collage”), thus giving them another perspective, or possibly clearing up any misconceptions and confusions they had about a work when we were just discussing it in class verbally.
- A collage provides the opportunity for revision of a certain work and would certainly help to clear up any topics in the readings that might come up on the final exam or a future test, via a visual and more creative method.
- If a student received a bad grade on a quiz because they did not understand the reading, the collage would give the student an opportunity to go back to the reading and understand it, or to read ahead and grasp concepts that might be useful to present to the class before the class does the reading. A collage would allow the student to become familiar with the work in a visual way and give them an opportunity to understand the main themes, topics, and ideas of a work, even one we might not have read yet.
Viability of Collage Proposal
Since a collage would be like giving the student an opportunity to go back and review a subject and at the same time would resemble preparation for a presentation, the time and effort required to go back and re-read a work as well as prepare the collage creatively would be sufficient to justify replacing the lowest quiz grade.
Our course mentor said that this project would be a nice addition to the class because, just like any play is better seen than read, the collage will allow students to get the visual aspect behind a work and help them to grasp the ideas better.
Past visuals that we have used in class to describe scenes from our readings such as The Tempest and The Odyssey have greatly helped me to understand some of the ideas of the stories. For example, I always pictured the cyclops as a nasty, vile creature, but after some of the “fuzzy” drawings on the board done by some of my peers, I imagined and understood that he could in fact be a gentle creature that was just angered by Ulysses trespassing and blinding him. I could not have seen that perspective of the story had it not been for some of the more innocent visuals on the board.
Finally, I have discussed with the students in our class about the idea of a collage replacing the lowest quiz grade and the overwhelming majority approved of the idea. Since a collage will substitute for a quiz grade, the assignment will be optional. Just as a quiz is almost always optional based on class initiation of discussion, the collage will also be optional based on similar student effort parameters. The students who do not want to do a collage can choose “door number 2” and take a quiz that would be created by the teachers and/or myself. This quiz can be used to make the total number of assignments for each student in the class even, and may or may not be graded based on the professor's discretion.
The first goal of my collage proposal is to give students a chance to be creative and step outside the boundaries of classroom discussion. They can use their imaginations to find a way to creatively put together a collage that will help the class as well as themselves to better understand the course reading.
A second goal of my proposal is that the time and effort put into making the collage and presenting it in front of the class will equal the worth of dropping the lowest quiz grade. Because this collage requires the creator to examine the context, audience, setting, structure of any one of the readings, it is essentially like a quiz itself, which includes questions on similar topics.
The literary work that a student chooses to create a collage on will determine how much time is necessary to fully complete the project. One week to create a collage should give each student—no matter what reading they choose to do—ample time to create a presentable and educational collage for the class.
In terms of tangible resources, this project is not very demanding. A simple poster or a series of photographs or drawings assembled neatly together by the student will be about as resourcefully demanding as this project gets.
In addition, a few hours of class time will need to be allocated in order to present the collages. If each student takes at least five minutes to present the total time needed for the presentations will be 1 hour and 15 minutes. The presentation day(s) and time(s) can be decided by the class as a whole.
The rest of the resources needed are already available:
- The readings are all published online if a student needs to refer back to them
- Craft supplies are readily available
Skills for Successful Completion
- As a good planner and organizer I made a rubric that is specific enough to give the students a good idea of what they should be doing for the collage. The rubric can be made available upon your request.
- In addition I can also come up with a quiz if there are students who want to opt out of the collage project.
- I can talk to the class and come up with a good presentation time and date for everybody.
- I would volunteer myself to hold an early presentation session a few days before the due date so the others can get an idea of what their collage could look like and why they can benefit from the project.
- I will make myself available to the class if they have any questions about the proposed project.
A collage will allow students to understand visually a reading or topic in a reading that they may have been confused about. The project is a fun and creative way to get students to think about a reading more in depth as well as review for future exams. As a result of the effort and time put into the collages, the students should be allowed to drop their lowest quiz grade in the semester.
Modler, David. Big Bug. Photograph.Kronos Art Gallery. Web. 12 Oct. 2011
"Pablo Picasso - Still Life with Chair Caning (1912)." Lenin Imports. Web. 12 Oct. 2011.
Rodrigo. "Collages." Web 2.0 Toolkit. 11 Mar. 2009. Web. 2 Oct. 2011.