Adult 612, reflection four

I was pretty happy with our first presentation. I know ours was different than the other groups but once April showed us the learning pyramid we knew we couldn’t stand up and lecture:

Learning Pyramid

The second presentation, which we are giving tonight, fits into the same pyramid–we’re going to be in the yellow “practice”section.

Honestly, I have never been a fan of group work until I started this program. It always made me nervous–not that I would be stuck with a loafer but that I would be that person and people would be disappointed in me. I always do the work and the readings but I think there’s always a chance that I don’t know as much as the people around me. And role playing? Fugghettaboutit. I don’t like dressing up for Halloween and being someone else for a night so I certainly don’t like “acting” in a role play situation either.

After studying how group work helps learning and discovering my own beliefs in social constructivism, I have completely changed my mind about it.

I know I keep saying it (and I will probably say it again in my last reflection) but this program and class have really changed the way I view myself, education and especially the way groups work. Learning theory in this case has informed my own practice.

One of my instructor friends, who is working on a PhD in the humanities and is insanely smart, recently told me that I was getting my degree in something useful, unlike his studies. At first I thought–I’m not even an instructor; I don’t even know what I want to do with this degree yet. But then I realized that what I am learning to practice is completely useful. Groups & Teams is another class where I will save my books and articles after it’s over and pull them from my shelf to

I wrote this in my blog for 642, but for that class I am suddenly group-less because I picked a project to work on alone. And it is lonely. There is a sense of community and fun to group work that isn’t present in solo work. Plus, having someone to bounce ideas off of is priceless. Once of my (very wonderful!) classmates invited me to go to Starbucks with her so we can work together, separately, on our projects. I’m really excited and hope that it helps motivate me even more. We talked a lot in class about the theory of finding a group and your place in it but a functional, long-lasting group is special!

I talked a bit to April in one of our group meetings about how all three of the movies we watched in class were male-centered. While it’s difficult to think of movies where a group of women work together for a common goal here are a few:

All I Wanna Do: A group of female students band together to prevent their school from going co-ed. Written and directed by a woman, Sarah Kernochan.

A League of Their Own: The first female baseball teams during WWII. Also written and directed by women!

North Country: About the first successful sexual harassment class action suit. Directed by a woman!

Of course passing the Bechdel Test is important and I think all of these movies do that, though the girls in All I Wanna Do are boy-crazed-teenagers.

Can you think of anything else? Is all the good feminist work happening in TV? Do I need to see more indie movies?


3 thoughts on “Adult 612, reflection four

  1. Melissa, your post is wonderful, and touched on so many aspects that I have been feeling as well. “I have never been a fan of group work until I started this program… I would be that person and people would be disappointed in me.” I have also never been a “fan” of group work. When I came through undergraduate school, it was all about the “lecture” and then writing a 30-40 page paper on our research. It was a very difficult transition for me. However, as you so aptly stated, working on projects alone is lonely. There is a lack of community, and a very integral part: bouncing ideas off of one another. Over the years, in reflection, I look back at one of the most productive, creative, and “feel good” times, was when I worked with another individual on designing a PR piece for our organization, as well as submitting a grant proposal that was funded by the NSF. We were a “team” – giving feedback and encouraging one another to produce the best possible “product.” It was a wonderful experience. Great post!

    PS. I loved your team’s presentation/facilitation!

  2. Wow Melissa! Your post was so genuine and it really makes sense! I, too, as Chelsea, have not been a fan of doing group work, but since we HAVE to in our jobs and everyday lives, I’ve learned (and read how-to books…hahaha) how to manage. This class, however, has opened up new ideas and I’m actually venturing out into utilizing them. Thanks for the Learning Pyramid…very helpful!

  3. Hi Melissa – I love the learning pyramid. It’s like looking at Bloom’s taxonomy in reverse. My group did a demonstration – was that in the 75% category? Then we had the participants “practice,” then “present.” Is presenting akin to teaching? I hope you all will remember 90% of what we covered!

    I agree with you on the whole group thing. I was not sure how much I would like spending the whole semester “stuck” in a group. It turned out to be a wonderful experience. Now, like you mentioned, it’s lonely when I’m not part of a group. The learning theory I also see is Vygotsky and the zone of proximal development. I know in my group I learned from the more knowledgeable others. Each group member brought a skill set to the task at hand. We learned from each other.

    Thanks for sharing the pyramid and your wonderful insights with us! Susan

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