Scientia 2009: Karissa Kreidler

Karissa Kreidler is receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English Secondary Education as well as minor in Sociology. Following graduation Karissa intends to attain a position as an English/Language Arts educator. In her near future, she is also considering achieving a Professional Diploma for Creative Writing. During her time at Marywood University, Karissa has been inducted into Delta Epsilon Sigma, a National Scholastic Honors Society for Catholic Universities, and Lambda Iota Tao, a National English Honors Society. She has also participated in Marywood‘s newspaper, The Woodword, as well as Bayleaf, the literary magazine. Most recently, Karissa has been awarded honorable mention for the Sister Immaculata Gillespie Medal for Excellence in Secondary Education. Karissa chose to receive an Honors citation to pursue her education to its fullest extent and has enjoyed the challenges and opportunities that the Honors and Fellowship Program has offered. Karissa would like to thank Christina Elvidge as well as her director Dr. Agnes Cardoni, without whom this thesis would not have been possible. She would also like to thank to thank her reader, Meghan Cruciani, for her enthusiasm and constructive criticism throughout the final stages of the process. An additional thank you goes out to Andrew, her boyfriend, for his endless encouragement and supportive, up-lifting attitude. And last, but certainly not least, Karissa would like to thank her family, especially her mother, for the unconditional love, which made her believe that the sky truly was the limit.

Furthering Meaning with Texts: Critical and Ethical Growth through the Study of Literature

Director: Dr. Agnes Cardoni
Reader: Ms. Meghan Cruciani


Human experiences are always shared in narrative form—story form. When people talk about themselves, their live experiences, their life goals, they are sharing stories. Robert Coles, author of Call of Stories, emphatically insists that all people are themselves stories with an infinite number of histories and various incidents that can each be pulled together to compose a personal narrative. A writer for Newsweek not only shares Coles‘ sentiments that people are storied but also asserts that it is one‘s personal narrative that others connect to and identify with, as it is one‘s story that reveals values and ethics as revealed through past obstacles and choices. As narrative entails commitments and hopes, those who can appreciate and comprehend their own personal narratives can also use other stories, even books, to revise, replace, and/or re-generate how they will be defined. When people are able to criticize their own stories, they are also able to draw on the attractive characteristics of others, with which they have the opportunity to identify as valuable and adopt from any narrative. People are not effortlessly able to criticize their own stories; however, they can be taught the art of self-reflection and critique. One site for such efforts already exists; it is the English/Language Arts classroom. I hope to show that it is the job of English teachers to expand literary education and literacy to include a focused attention on the establishment of critical literacy, in order to foster self-reflection and conscious decision-making abilities in students.

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