Wesley Shumar, PhD, Professor and Department Head.
I'm a cultural anthropologist at Drexel University my research focuses on higher education, ethnographic evaluation in education, virtual community, the semiotics of mass culture, and the self in relation to contemporary personal and political issues of identity and globalization. My current work in higher education focuses on the spatial transformation of American universities within the consumer spaces of cities and towns. This work looks at the most recent phase of the commodification of the university earlier phases of which I explored in College for Sale: A Critique of the Commodification of Higher Education, Falmer Press, 1997 and in the co-edited volume with Joyce Canaan titled Structure and Agency in the Neoliberal University Routledge/Falmer, 2008.
Since 1997 I've worked as an ethnographer at the Math Forum, a virtual math education community and resource center. Currently I am Co-PI on EnCoMPASS a four year NSF project designed to build a supportive online community of math teachers through formative assessment and a focus on student problem-solving. I was the PI on the recently ended project, The Math Forum's Virtual Fieldwork Sequence. It was a three-year NSF project at the Math Forum that is investigating the potential of this online educational community to affect the culture of math education for preservice teachers. I am co-editor with Ann Renninger of Building Virtual Communities: Learning and Change in Cyberspace, published by Cambridge University Press.
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