Gaining Perspectives

Last Wednesday, we came into class not sure what to expect as we were in the middle of working on our third project. Dr. Brocato took advantage of the class time by introducing an activity for the whole class called “I see, I think, I feel.” As a class, we came together to sit in a wide circle, and used this activity time to acknowledge problems and talk through it as a class. Our professor started it off by talking about how she saw some students seemed confused on instructions and expectations of our projects from her perspective. After she finished, it was followed with open response from many classmates using the prompt from their perspective on the issue. The activity was shown to demonstrate how it could be used in classroom settings as well.

While I do see the potential benefits in open-group discussion through this activity, I feel it has many potential pitfalls that can quickly ruin it as well. When it comes to teacher-student issues, I feel it best to privately discuss anything that is bothering the instructor with a student or two individually. If it was brought up in group, it creates possibilities of the student(s) feeling attacked and lashing out during the activity or quit giving effort in class anymore. This also can be trying on the teacher or professor not to feel attacked by their responses and retaliate. Another potential outcome is that some other students may recognize the person described in the issue such as someone who always shows up late to class may be seen as disrespectful and not caring to the professor. However students may know who that is and use it as fuel to bully the student then or later in the future. The same outcomes can happen if students bring up issues they have with others or going on in their own personal lives.

So in regards to this potential activity, it does allow  a good opportunity to gain many different perspectives on various issues from different viewpoints. It does require a student group being comfortable to talk so it would be later in a semester or year. And finally, it must be handled and facilitated with extreme care by the professor/ teacher to make the activity a success and useful learning experience for all.  The students and teacher must also have developed a mutual trust of each other to improve the quality of this activity by being honest.

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