By Joe King, [email protected]

Carrie Rose, Chad Hensley, and Kristie Burnett take a breather after presenting their findings to the South Knoxville Business Alliance. (The Herald/ Joe King)

Carrie Rose, Chad Hensley, and Kristie Burnett take a breather after presenting their findings to the South Knoxville Business Alliance. (The Herald/ Joe King)

A group of students at South-Doyle High School recently completed a multi-class study about how South Knoxville is perceived by other nearby areas. At the April 15 South Knoxville Business Alliance Meeting their findings were presented to an eager crowd of about 35 people gathered inside Woodlawn Christian Church.

“The problem we introduced was how do people outside of our community perceive us, and used that as a jumping off point,” said English Teacher Chad Hensley. “The students set up their projects in line with AP Stats, so they did their own survey. We spent a lot of time in my English classroom looking at numbers and developing arguments. We were a little bit shocked about what we saw.”

The group of students who presented at the meeting concentrated their efforts on how residents in West Knoxville view their South Knoxville neighbors.

“We found that West Knoxville looks kind of negatively toward South Knoxville,” said Twelfth Grade Student Carrie Rose. “They think we are lower than them, economically. They also said we have less shopping centers, which that part is probably true, but also that our education was of lower quality than their own. I was surprised by those findings because last year South-Doyle got the One-to-One Grant, so we each have MacBooks. That is supposedly supposed to help us a lot and I believe it has.”

Although the students presenting the survey didn’t discuss the other quadrants since those areas weren’t included in their part of the project, Rose said Seymour thought a little more highly of South Knox than West did.

“They looked at us a lot better than we expected,” Rose added.

Twelfth Grade Student Kristie Burnett said after seeing this perception of her community and school that she wants to strive to improve how others view South Knoxville.

“We don’t want to be looked at like we are in the middle,” Burnett said. “We want to be better.”

The survey was completed by method of QR codes and through e-mail. Students then used their knowledge of statistics to remove biases found in the questions originally generated.

“As our project we got the questions from Mr. Hensley and his Freshman English class,” Burnett explained. “We alerted them to make them unbiased.”

Hensley said the project was an exercise in problem-based learning that centered on an over-arching question.

 

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