My name is Priya

Time: Monday morning, bright and early.

Site: new classroom.

Programme: divide students into groups of 4-8 people and get them to discuss today's readings.

What to look for?: Research question(s); concepts used; evidence; and end with some other research questions that could be asked about that subject.

Procedure: I tried "real time" writing up--having my computer up and writing down what they said about the articles while they were discussing them. A computer version of writing it on the board, I thought. I thought this would work better since then they couldn't keep on looking at me and expecting me to tell them what the article is/was about but would discuss things on their own.

How it went?: Well, since not all of the students had read all of the articles, there seemed to be a lack of interest on the part of those who hadn't read that specific article when their mates were talking about it. Also, I get the feeling (and a couple of kids told me) that they expect to hear me talking about how research should be done and my way of explaining that research is ultimately messy, chaotic, and a hands-on affair is not going down too well.

I reckon it went all right though--my guinea pigs are still not sure about speaking up in the class and, as they are seniors, seem to think they already know most of these things? But, almost all of them did a good job of critically reading the articles I'd assigned.

One issue I have noted so far is that there is not enough time for in-depth discussion, even when I give over the whole class to "workshopping" (like today). As the class sessions are only just over an hour long, it is difficult to get the students to engage and critique as time runs out fairly quickly. By the time we did an overview of each of the (four) readings, it was almost time to head out.

Interestingly enough, most of the kids remind me of myself--silent and waiting for the class to end OR making smartarse remarks every once in a while to ensure the Professor knows they're there. I've never been convinced that karma exists but, if it did, this would be my version of it, I'm sure.

The next class is when they finally discuss their own research interests. I've asked them to come in to class with a list of questions on one or two topics they are interested in researching. I'll let yous know how that goes but, in the meantime, wait for the ethnographic post. I'll get to that someday, for sure.


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