Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Class Discussion : A suggestion

As a graduate real estate student with a major in sustainable development I really want to get deep into the issues of green building. When reflecting on this semester’s Green Cities class, I am pleased with most elements of the experience. However, I find myself wanting some more focused discussions in class. There is a tremendous amount of enthusiasm in our classroom that, unfortunately, is often left to bat about ideas in too loose of a fashion. This criticism is difficult because I am very appreciative of how the class members are treated when it comes to the freedom to make our assignments relevant to our own lives. I do believe that the same freedom, when applied to a group discussion, results in the discussion rarely leaving the stage of brainstorming, and the class is left without ever really digging into the ‘What do we do about it?’ question.

I am hoping that we could try to divide our discussions into framing the problem and posing potential solutions to that problem. This allows for our discussions to be responsible and perhaps less self-indulgent. I suspect that when students are free to respectfully challenge other students and ask them to propose a solution to their hypotheses, discussions will sharpen, and the result will be a more systematic and complete discussion.

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