Less Recent Scholarship

A February, 2017 conference paper: Critical Thinking with Nowhere to Go.sepes-170202-clean In this short paper, presented at the Southeast Philosophy of Education Society’s 2017 annual conference, I shared an experience I had as a guest in a prison classroom and discuss the ideas it spurred about critical thinking. I have been invited to contribute this paper to a book edited by Randy Hewitt that examines applications of Jim Garrison’s concept of “eros” in education.

My dissertation: The Student Experience of Other Students. In this work I conducted a phenomenological case study focusing on an often neglected area of higher education research: how students experienced each other in a graduate seminar. Students described each other as “genuinely invested,” got “completely caught up” in activities and each other’s stories, and came to appreciate each other’s diversity. Many of the students attributed the changes they experienced in the course, like becoming a better listener, to their peers. I have written a manuscript based on this work and am sending it to The Qualitative Report.

A 2016 publication: Freedom to Connect: Insight into the Existential Dimension of Transformative Learning in a Graduate Seminar. sohn-et-al-2016 In this article we present the results of a phenomenological study of what it was like to be a learner in a graduate seminar taught by a veteran, expert instructor well known for his humor and humanity. Students described their experience as “different” from other courses and “relevant and applicable” to their lives. They found the atmosphere of the course to be “free” from institutional obligations and “open” to ideas. They were “collaborative” in exploring course content and “connected” with other students, “safe” to share perspectives and understandings, and “comfortable” to explore content in their own way.