Faculty News: Jonathan Jarvis on the Value of Education, Internationally Speaking

“I love teaching,” says Jonathan Jarvis,  a recent and valued addition to the Sociology Department in the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. “I love interacting with students and discussing the topics sociology can help us understand about people and society. I really think it is a great way to engender empathy for difference (different people, different cultures). It’s especially exciting for me to talk about areas I am researching, like talking about education from an international perspective.”

Jarvis, Jonathan 02 1308-61 Jonathan Jarvis portrait August 27, 2013 Photo by Riana B. Bruce Goodsky/BYU Copyright BYU Photo 2013 All Rights Reserved photo@byu.edu   (801)422-7322
Copyright BYU Photo
All Rights Reserved

Dr. Jonathan Jarvis has lived and studied internationally, and is dedicated to helping others understand different cultures and ways of life.  “Living in Asia for 3 years prior to starting my graduate studies awakened me to a world with very different cultural practices than my own upbringing,” says Dr. Jarvis, “So much of culture is unseen or taken for granted, but going to a very different country made culture explicit. I was filled with questions about why people did things…that led me to sociology.”

Researching Asian Students Studying in Western Countries

He’s passionate not only about his teaching, but also about his research. He studies Asian students with high educational goals who immigrate to western countries, looking at factors that might contribute to why they have high goals and why they choose to “globalize” their education.   Regarding these students’ decisions, and the effects they have on their families, there are positives and negatives, which Dr. Jarvis researches. He also compares how countries preform educationally. Ultimately, he wants to determine if the globalization of education can be a “mechanism for upward mobility.”

Born in Canada and raised by Americans, Dr. Jarvis says “I went back and forth a lot. I think this also contributed to my love of sociology as I was always a little bit of an outsider observing (a Canadian in the US, but also an American in Canada).” Dr. Jarvis received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Alberta. At BYU, he obtained his masters in sociology, and he got his PhD from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  He speaks Korean and French. He has several publications, with many more under review and in progress.  Dr. Jarvis has traveled across the States and the world to present his papers at professional conferences. Dr. Jarvis teaches the following classes:

  • Social Problems (112),
  • Deviance and Social Control (380)
  • Qualitative Research Methods (404). Next semester he will teach 380 instead.

In his free time, Dr. Jarvis reads, watches movies and sports, and spends time with his family.

Read more about another FHSS faculty member, also named Jon and interested in Asia, here.


Leave a Reply