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Open Access Publications from the University of California


InterActions is an open access journal hosted by the eScholarship initiative of the California Digital Library, edited and managed by graduate students, based at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. Our publication’s authors foster an open and critical dialogue with readers and colleagues through applying diverse social justice frameworks to the discussion of pressing issues in the fields of education and information.


Rough All Over: Processing Trauma and Gaining Empathy through Journaling

My students live in a high crime community and many have experienced frequent and re-occurring trauma. Drive-bys, violence at home, gang warfare, drug and alcohol experimentation, jail time, deaths in the family, etc., are experiences that my students face throughout their lifetimes; their lives are “rough all over.” When my students walk through the threshold of my classroom, they not only carry the weight of these experiences with them, but they also reproduce negative and destructive interactions with one another because they haven’t often experienced a world of safety and empathy. Drawing from Social Emotional Learning, CPTSD research, and Dutro’s Writing Wounded, I proposed that if students could write to one another in an anonymous journal for an extended period of time, they would be able to feel relief from expressing their traumas--starting the processing cycle--and that they could also learn to support one another empathetically. This would enable students to participate in and create a safer learning environment. Additionally, I hoped it would grow students socially and emotionally through trusting and supporting one another. I was astounded to find dozens upon dozens of empathetic, caring, and open journal entries. Students also self-reported positive feelings both toward journaling and toward the empathy they were practicing. This eight-week practice in social and emotional growth reflected the severe and immediate need that students have of SEL in the classroom, and the importance of visibility of complex trauma in children in urban school settings.

The Role of Faculty and Peer Interactions in Supporting Humanities Students’ Persistence and Post-Graduation Aspirations: A Case Study

This study examines the experiences of undergraduate humanities students in the context of increasing social and educational emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and pre-professional areas of study (e.g., business administration, management, nursing). More specifically this article explores the ways in which humanities students’ interactions with departmental faculty members and peers support their persistence in their majors as well as their post-graduation goals. The persistence and post-graduation goals of humanities students is seen as particularly important given the deprioritization of the humanities by higher education institutions in recent decades as well as the questioned relevance of humanities education to post-graduation employment. Findings obtained from in-depth interviews as well as participant observation focus on the role of faculty accessibility, students’ sharing of information with one another, and students’ bonding over shared experiences in supporting humanities students’ persistence and post-graduation aspirations. Findings also point to the ways in which humanities students have experienced marginalization in various contexts and also how they have resisted narratives they are exposed to that are disparaging towards their areas of study.

(Co) creating nuevas teorias in educational leadership: Introduction to a “del corazón (from the heart) leadership model

This paper introduces a leadership model developed by seven Latina mothers that participated in a parent initiated group A "del corazon (from the heart) leadership model consists of 5 elements that are rooted in love, care, respect, and dignity. This leadership model provides a nueva teoria within educational leadership that is inclusive of Latina mother leaders and, as a result, provides a transformative approach to leadership and social justice.

Archival Consent

The idealized value of “open access” to information in traditional Western archives is grounded in a right to property based in a racially and gender biased jurisprudence, and thus legal arguments for “open access” replicate those same privileges and harms. Rather than rely on legal frameworks for decision-making around access and use, this paper argues that adopting consent-based models of self-determination would shift the paradigm of archival policies and practices around use and access from one based on individual property rights to one based on relationships, autonomy, and prioritization of record creators and subjects. To deconstruct these systems of privilege and actively bring forth the voices of non-homogeneous archival subjects will require not just advocating for small reforms, but for entirely new ways of thinking about and doing our work. This paper uses Critical Race Theory (CRT) to question Western jurisprudence and deconstruct the assumed neutrality of Intellectual Property (IP), the legal basis for the archival tenet of open access. Next, the paper offers three non-legal or extra-legal models of consent which serve as examples for thinking beyond status quo assumptions of archival practice. The three models explored and evaluated are indigenous protocols, feminist affirmative consent, and Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). Instead of seeing this process as restricting or censoring, the adoption of these protocols would lead to increased trust, more accessible archival description, and a more pleasurable archival endeavor.

Book Reviews

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are. A Book Review.

This article reviews the book written by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, titled Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are.