Sprint 3 Reflection – Summer

3 key moments for me this sprint focus on the strength of our interdisciplinary group, power dynamics, and how I feel like our class gives us the chance burst the Davidson bubble.

  1.     The power of our different backgrounds has been key in our process. First, Andrew brought up his idea about using a sprint cycle. This sprint, I thought a key idea was Jennie explaining to us what positive and negative controls are in science experiments. This helped us figure out a methodology on who to interview in our empathy stage. It gave us a way to think of people who would use design thinking or who wouldn’t so we could get a better picture of users. I have never thought about positive and negative controls and was glad to have that brought to the table. There have been several moments like that, but this is what I can think of right now.
  2.     One of my interviews was with Dr. Melissa Gonzalez of the Hispanic/GSS department. I asked her vaguely about academic risk and classroom dynamics, and for the next hour we just talked about implicit power dynamics in school structures, the student v. teacher relationship, and between all the different identities. I never even thought about teachers feeling the risk when they assign non traditional assignments, but if they are not tenured or a woman or a person of color, professors do experience risk. This also relates to a conversation our group had yesterday when we talked about students of different backgrounds viewing office hours differently, and how risks defined by getting good grades (for post grad plans) can really depend on context. I (we) also want to make sure we aren’t making assumptions or making stories up but power dynamics in the classroom is so important. Dr. Gonzales also mentioned “feminist pedagogy” and Bell Hooks’ book about teaching, which Andrew and Annie read. Now I want to read that too.
  3.     My last moment of this sprint I want to reflect on is how this class lets us not be robotic students, completely separate from the world. We start each class talking about how we are doing and a mindfulness activity. We let each other know when we have big tests in other classes, are feeling sick, etc. During one of our classes, when we had about 30 minutes left, we got on a tangent about Milo and the Black Lives Matter movement. There has not really been a space for this conversation in any of my other classes, or my teacher might mention it briefly at the beginning of the class, but even if students are internally conflicted about all of these issues we have no time or skills to talk about it in class. But in this DLRD course, we gave ourselves the time to talk about it organically. I think we were all feeling a little anxious and frustrated so we took a 5 minute break outside to breathe and refocus. Then we went back to our room and finished everything we had to do. I feel like I could never do that in a normal class. Maybe the QEP will help address that.
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