Topic Workshop: Education
We started our first group meeting approximately a month ago. Since the topic “Education” is broad, I thought it would take a long time for us to narrow down and finalize the direction. But surprisingly, in our first meeting, we quickly reached the agreement— the workshop will be reflecting on our past education journey as well as planning for the future ones. I guess it comes from collective anxiety that we college seniors all have. We decided to reflect on our education journey individually first and shared out how we reflected it when we meet next time.
We shared our individual results. By seeing the worksheets we created, we knew that everyone has very different approaches.
Also, we weren’t sure what was the better proportion of past and future. For example, how long ago is counted as past? Since elementary school or in CCA? Should we attach education experience to personal events since they might be connected? Future education plans are more career-focused or just in general as a person? In sum, we didn’t know the scope we wanted to cover and the line between profession and personal experiences. The whole meeting was filled with ambiguity and uncertainty, but I thought we were still making progress at least by talking about it.
In the third meeting, Asher brought up the curriculum framework, designed by Kristian Simsarian. We thought it was a good idea to reference the existing model so we could have an easier time to narrow down everything. We were body storming the reflection process as Asher and Claire asked Jay and me multiple questions such as what values do you think is important to you? What effort do you do to accomplish the values? How education has helped you? Gradually, a framework concept is formed by having a back-and-forth conversation and interaction.
In the fourth meeting, Jay, who is our “education expert” (he has done multiple projects related to education and has been a tutor for 2 years), provided a few important ideas and context of education. Some of the terminologies were not very accessible, so we tried to turn them into a more approachable lecture as well as finalizing the flow of the reflection workshop.
In our last meeting, we prepared the materials and host a dry run by testing with Natalia. It went well, at least way better than what we expected. We iterated a bit based on Natalia’s feedback, such as combining the value sheet and the design-my-education sheet into one sheet because they have many overlapping parts.
I think the presentation day went well overall. People had lots of discussions, more than what we imagined. People would automatically talk to others even though we told them to reflect individually at first. It might be that we didn’t explain it enough, or it could be that people were getting used to the flow and were so into it that they didn’t listen to instructions. Also, since we thought we had a little more time than an hour, we ended the workshop a bit in rush. If we can do it again, I think we should deliver clearer instructions and speak louder, as well as keep an eye on the time so we can have more time for people to share out in class.
Generally, we have a good collaborative experience. Because we meet up less than an hour every week regularly, we can still gradually making progress without getting too overwhelmed. I think every team can easily provide interesting perspectives and experiences as long as they plan ahead. As a student who is interested in education, it’s a cool and helpful experience to try to run a workshop by feeling what it is like to be an instructor a bit. The topic workshop is a new learning experience for participants as well as for hosts, and I am looking forward to experiencing the rest of them.