Mental Healthcare and Education

Posted May 11th, 2010 at 2:57 pm.

Rebecca Woodruff

Mentor: Paul Grobstein

Mental healthcare and education are often regarded as distinct fields with distinct problems, and as a result, little interdisciplinary research has explored their relationship. In fact, both fields deal with learning understood as physical changes in the brain that result in changes in a person’s understanding of his or her place in the world. Both have the capacity to contribute positively to addressing wider social problems, such as the challenges associated with pluralism and diversity of thought. For these reasons it is likely that the strategies used in one field may address the challenges of the other.

This summer I propose to look for parallels between these two fields. The majority of this work will involve extensive literature review. I will supplement this revision with interviews of experts in mental healthcare and education, as well as participation in the Bryn Mawr Summer Sciences Institute. Additionally, I will enhance my understanding of the complex process of learning by developing behavioral models using NetLogo software. Finally, I will synthesize this material, making my discoveries public on the Serendip website, and facilitate further discussion on Serendip’s exchange forums. My hope is that this work will shed light on larger trends in the sciences and the humanities, such as the usefulness of interdisciplinary study, the push away from modernism towards postmodernism, the increasingly valued idea of neurodiversity, and the ethical issues that relate to mental healthcare and education.

Comments are closed.