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Responding to Presentations

miaashley's picture

This week I was not sure what exactly the blog post was about. I want to build off of the information that we have been presented during the past week in the class presentations. I was extremely interested in both the language presentation and the story telling presentation. I found it interesting how in the first presentation we learned about the different languages and dialects spoken in Ghana. We were taught this information by students in the 360, none of which are from Ghana. Then a guest, a student, came to talk to us about her experiences as a student and a Ghanain in relationship to language. I was instantly struck by how I became uncomfortable in the classroom. In the begining when there was no one from the country being taught present I was comfortable learning about the culture and language. However, once a student from the country was physically present I became a lot more uncomfortable and uneasy. It made me wish that either we were not 'teaching' about Ghana or that the guest herself was talking instead. However, I then became even more frustrated. People of places are not always 'experts' or good representations of a place, but more importantly, no one person should be forced to be a 'representative' of a place or story. I do not actually have an answer or a final conclusion. I was just very confused myself after class on tuesday about what had taken place. What does it say about me as a learner? my comfort? my discomfort? What difference does it make who is 'teaching' and what they are 'teaching about? 

I think for myself, I need to be more open to feeling uncomfortable. But I also need to be more vocal and representative/assertive about my discomfort. A lot of time I have opinions that I am conflicted about that I think about for long periods of time but I do not vocalize them. I need to be more constructive with the angst I sometimes feel in the classroom as a student and an observer. 


alesnick's picture

leading from discomfort?

I appreciate this reading of the complex dynamics of that class period.  I hear you asking how you can take up the complexity as an agent, as a leader, and re-present it in public, out loud, in ways others can use, and in ways that let you build from it.  What would it take for you to do this?  Does class structure need to change?

JBacchus's picture

openness for uncomfortable

I think once we are more open to being uncomfortable, it makes us more open to learning.

There's a theory in psychology for learning and development from Piaget where we talk about how a child learns when they are faced with a conflict from what they already know; he called this "disequilibrium". Learning occurs when the child struggles to reach "equilibrium" or a resolution between what they thought and the conflict.

For me I think of being uncomfortable with a topic as "disequilibrium", and an opportunity for exploring further.