Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Something for next semester - a discussion group*
*For your edification and not for credit
If there is interest I would like to start a weekly discussion group in the spring on the general theme of taking the long view on your learning - things members of the group might try to have a greater take away from both the academic side and the intellectual part of the recreational side of undergraduate life. It would also be a place for group members to drive the discussion, talk about issues they are having and have the group weigh in on how to think it through. In some sense it is meant as a face to face alternative to the blogging you have done this semester.
The past couple of years I have mentored an I-Promise student. I don't have an I-Promise mentee this year, so for me the group would be an alternative. We know each other a bit now from our class so we shouldn't need to spend much time breaking the ice. The group would also be a bit of an experiment on whether outside of a course setting coaching qua thinking "it" through (whatever it is) can be effective for participants. I've not done a discussion group with students like this before.
In my ideal we'd block off 90 minutes once a week. We might not go that long each week, but sometimes we would. Size-wise I'd hope for 4 or 5 students. That's about the max where if everyone shows each can participate vigorously in the conversation. Less would be okay but make the group more vulnerable to no shows. If more are interested I'd want to accommodate that, but it would move the group closer to a classroom setting and then the participation issue would creep in.
Since this is unofficial, scheduling could be a bear. That's the main reason for posting about this now. If you are interested, please indicate so via a comment to this post. Also say whether your schedule for next semester is pretty firm or still up in the air. It's no use to set a time until those who are interested have a good idea about their schedules.