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report on presentation

skindeep's picture

 Group Presentation

For our presentation my group created a barometer – we made a spectrum outside on the green, with one person standing on one end as ‘agree’ and another on the other end as ‘disagree’, with plenty of room in between. (If anyone has taken any education classes at Bryn Mawr they might be familiar with this exercise). Each of us then proceeded to read out a statement from one section of the class – with the five of us, we were each able to pick one topic. The questions were:

Devanshi: Randomness is an awful thing to teach high school kids. (Darwin)

Hannah: Memes set us aside from the rest of the animal kingdom. (Dennett)

Hope: There are some areas of life that science should not address. (Generosity)

Rachel: The Plague was a man made construct. (Plague)

Elly: I would rather be a plant, adapting is easier for plants, they have no memory, they just move on to whatever’s next. But for a person, adaption is almost shameful. (Adaption)

As you can see, all of these questions were actually strong statements standing on one extreme side of the spectrum/barometer. Once one of us read out our statement (which were obtained from thoughts raised in class/on the forum) we asked the class to move along the spectrum and stand anywhere they saw fit with their view on the statement – they could stand at an extreme, in the middle, or anywhere in between depending on how strongly they agreed/disagreed with it.

The idea behind this exercise was so that we could give every single member of our class a voice, by deciding where they wanted to stand they were literally taking a visual stand on the issue at hand – showing themselves and the rest of the class what they thought, without necessarily having to say anything. In this manner we hoped to give everyone a voice, even those people that did not feel comfortable talking out loud.

Once they had decided where to stand, we asked a few of them, from different parts of the spectrum to tell us why they had decided to stand where they were and once the class had heard them, we gave them a moment to move around/change their spot on the spectrum.

We had hoped that after hearing different people’s views, people would have moved along the spectrum more, but this wasn’t the case. While this was initially disappointing, I think it reflects a lot on the class – if we had had this exercise throughout the class, we would have gotten a chance to see how people changed and evolved in terms of their opinions and ideas. Having it at the end of the class however, showed us the product of that – some people moved, but for the most part, people spoke about how they once stood at an end of the spectrum but having been through the class, they were now more in the middle and more understanding of people on the other end of the spectrum.

We have to also account for the fact that we were after all on a time constraint and people didn’t have a chance to really battle it out in terms of what they thought/where they stood.

           Regardless, I do still believe that our exercise was a reflection of the evolution of class as a whole via the evolution of each individual person as they found themselves standing somewhere they would not have originally been.



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