Senior psychology major S. Blair Barrows has been selected from 147 finalists as one of 40 Watson Fellows in the class of 2012. In exploring the Waldorf, Reggio, and Democratic/Holistic philosophies of education to understand how play can be used in the classroom as a learning tool she will travel to the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, South Africa, and India.
- Combining my innate curiosity with a passion for education, my Watson project explores two things that were never related in my rigid upbringing, play and school. To further understand how play manifests itself in school and how it can be used in the classroom, I choose three philosophies, Waldorf, Reggio, and Democratic/Holistic, on account of their beliefs in the benefits of play. My mother is a pre-school teacher, and within the walls of her classroom, I have seen the rewards of play, fostering problem solving, imagination, creativity, and democracy. I believe that play, a seemingly simple act, has astounding benefits, and I would like to see how these philosophies utilize it as a learning tool. How will a student's education change if he/she continues playing? [abstracts, 2012–2013 Fellows]
- A daughter and granddaughter of teachers, Blair Barrows grew up surrounded by learning. Her passion for education stems from her experiences student-teaching and volunteering in local schools around her University. Blair participates in numerous community service projects, which led to her receiving SCAC Character and Community Female Athlete of the Week. Deeply impacted by her internship with Floortime Atlanta, where she worked with children with developmental disabilities, she became inspired to pursue a career in special education. A four-year letter winner, Blair can also be found on the volleyball court, where she served as a captain. [Bios, 2012–2013 Fellows]