We fondly refer to the Chesapeake Bay state as “Metrics Maryland.”
N4 advisor, Dr. Sheri Parks, who teaches in the American Studies Department at the University of Maryland, is working with us to gather empirical evidence that we can use to further examine and justify our vision and mission. Sheri was introduced to us by N4 advisor, Dini Karasik. Under Sheri’s guidance, we are continuing our connections with researchers from Yale University, Olin College, University of Chicago, Bates College, and Western Carolina University, to name a few.
In the past ten years, the sciences have challenged archaic assumptions regarding neuroscience, child-development and educational practices. There are some pretty cool studies out there that analyze the human brain and how we are soft-wired with mirror neurons that enable us to experience another person’s plight or joy as if we are experiencing it ourselves. Our studies will involve MRI scans of the brain to confirm what happens to it during the story exchange; in other words, we will be measuring mirror neurons. Interestingly, there are very few studies on simultaneous narrative, which is at the heart of our story exchange process, and we look forward to be pioneers in the field.
Dr. Parks is also a member of the Coalition for Civic Engagement at UMD, and her classes often include visionary projects that benefit non-profit associations, which is wonderful for N4. Recently, we have been working in concert with Baltimore’s The Intersection, an organization that works with teens from underserved areas and helps transform them into leaders and civic-minded individuals.
One of our goals is to conduct a qualitative ethnographic study that will measure the long-term impact of our core methodology on individual participants, and how engaged in society he or she is moving forward. Our collaboration with The Intersection serves many purposes, and we invite you to stay tuned as the story of Metrics Maryland continues to unfold.
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