Week 5 – Discussion
Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.
|Avoiding Assumptions Based on “Single Stories” [WLO: 1] [CLOs: 1, 3]|
Prior to beginning work on this discussion, read in your textbook Chapter 12, Critical Theoretical Perspectives, and view the video The Danger of a Single Story (Links to an external site.).
Formal theory is produced by scholars and, to the maximum extent possible, conforms to standard social science assumptions about knowledge and generalizability. Most developmental theories on student development are rooted in psychology and provide insight into how students make meaning, but may not always account for the social factors that can also influence student development. Therefore, as a student services professional, you must avoid making generalizations about student development based on your own set of values, beliefs, and assumptions. You must avoid making a single story and recognize that individuals working with the same student(s) within the same institution may have radically different understandings of what comprises student learning and development. As a result, what may end up being created are non-optimal levels of dissonance and support within the student experience.
In your initial prompt,
- Summarize the story of how you developed as a learner by sharing important experiences that affected your cognitive development. For example, what was your support system like in school and at home? Did you feel safe to take intellectual risks within your educational experiences? Why or why not?
- Assess your “story” with a critical eye. How did your experiences reflect situations of privilege and/or marginalization? How might your experiences have been influenced by social factors related to power and oppression?
- Explain how to validate the stories of others. How can you become better informed and more aware of the social factors that may influence a student’s development? Support your response.
Guided Response: In your responses to at least two peers, comment critically and constructively on the experiences of your peers that influenced their learning experiences as well as their privileged and marginalized identities. How were these similar to or different from your own experiences? Make connections to the theories described in Chapters 12.
Though two replies are the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and application of the material, you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have given to you (including your instructor) before Day 7. This ongoing engagement in the discussion will deepen the conversation while providing opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real-world experiences with this topic. In addition to offering comments, encourage further conversation by questioning your peers about their responses.