Sunday, April 28, 2013

Group Differences Forum

I was apprehensive about the Group Differences Forum at first, mostly because I didn't know how it would work. If you were in a class that didn't feel safe, or where your classmates were unwilling to talk and discuss, the forum would not have worked at all. Our class, however, isn't shy about talking. Everyone was very well-spoken, prepared, and respectful of other people's opinions and feelings.

I enjoyed hearing all the different perspectives on a given topic. Hearing a variety of proposed solutions to the issues we discussed made me take another look at my own assumptions and opinions. Truly, I do think many of my classmates may change their opinions and feelings over time, perhaps when they have more experience in their own classrooms, or when/if they have children of their own. And yet I loved the enthusiasm, passion, and concern I heard about advocating for students/children. I would put my child in their classes any day.

The only suggestion I would have for the forum is to clarify better how the article is presented to the class. It takes up valuable time when the groups get bogged down in "presenting" the article. Just some clarification about what is expected and how best to move from presentation to discussion might be in order.

Overall, I felt that it was a great way to end the semester, pretty low stress, friendly. The discussion forum provides a "capstone" experience so as to summarize and crystallize our thinking about all the complex issues we discussed this semester.

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