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Reflections on Reading & Discussion

Class Dynamics

S...'s picture

I think we covered a lot of solid plans and good ideas in class about how we want our classroom to function. Beyond those we already discussed, I have a few more thoughts on our class dynamic. 

At one point someone (I think it may have been Jody?) said that "we all have different understandings of what respect is," and I think this fact is important to keep in mind. All of us are members of the Bryn Mawr community, but each of us has entirely unique expectations and life experiences. I think that entering into our conversations with an attitude of learning, not just about the course meterial, but about each other, could be helpful in nurturing the community of this course.

Reflection of first few classes

m r r's picture

Contemplating the past two weeks of this semester, some tension comes up. I anticipate that tension will be a common theme throughout the semester just based on the real systems, tending to be extremely flawed, that we live in and study and attempt to break down. I appreciate the classmates who have posed questions that many would never ask in a group class setting. The assigned piece of writing that has resonated with me most thus far is  ”Accomplices, Not Allies: Abolishing the Ally Industrial Complex.” The writer defines different Ally-types, such as Parachuter, “missionaries with more money,” and Floaters, those who hop from one issue to another and are action-junkies. There are many other Ally-types described.

Reflection 1/26

Ang's picture

On Tuesday, we discussed how to fairly and effectively run a class discussion. My group talked about Safe Spaces compared to "Brave Spaces." While we agreed that Safe Spaces are not bad and unnecessary, they are often just misused. In educational, especially social justice related, situations, the administration and facilitation of Brave Spaces is much more productive for the purposes of education and open dialogue. Because the discussion of social justice issues is often difficult and uncomfortable, the use of "safe spaces" is unproductive, while the usage of "brave spaces" encourages participants to be brave and proceed in the dialogue despite their discomfort. I thought the discussion overall was very good in the class.

Running the Class with Respect

anak's picture

In our class, I appreciated having an open discussion on how to best run the class in a way that made all individuals feel comfortable.  For this, we all need to have respect for each other.  This discussion as a class to determine the important ways we can show respect for our classmates was valuable and I believe we are all on the same page.  I appreciate how we have discussed the need for silence if necessary, based on individual feelings.  After reading Freire's Dialogical Method of Teaching, I have understood the importance of dialogue.  It is a way for us to connect and learn more together.  From this, we have also discussed the desire to remain silent if you don't have anything to contribute.  Silence does not mean you are left out of the conversation.

Reflections on Class Discussions

unsettle8's picture

The dynamic of our small group seems to be working so far. I find it rather enjoyable. Three days a week I am surrounded by intelligent like minded people, whose one goal for that day is to discuss something. Every day I learn something new, not just from the material for the course, but from the dialogue that we form as a team. I speak too much, but when surrounded by everyone I have so much to respond to. I really enjoy our awkward call or just talk system, because everyone is so respectful of each other, it's been working very well. It does, however, require a great deal of self awareness. Something that I know I need to work on, and as the semester continues I hope to practice more and more restraint, all while others practice speaking out more impulsively.

How should class run?

Mystical Mermaid's picture

I think that a combination of jumping into the conversation and raising your hand when you want to speak is a good method to running the class. I also enjoy calling on others that want to speak because it gives Jody and Anne a break from facilitating the conversation. I also like how we allow each other's questions to drive the conversation because it doesn't seem like the direction of the conversation was planned, everything flows nicely. Breaking off into smaller groups and then coming into a larger group discussion is effective as well