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 safety in expression 
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Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2003 12:08 am
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A few weeks ago we discussed the unease some classmembers felt in expressing their views during discussion or debate. For better or for worse I have always felt pretty comfortable in sharing my feelings, so I am curious what others think would or could have created a safer environment. This will be a challenge for all of us as teachers and I want to understand from a different perspective.


Sun Apr 27, 2003 8:54 pm
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i feel the same way lauren--it seems like a lot of people are not comfortable sharing their differing thoughts in class. i don't think i've been too timid about it. but it's a shame that other people have felt that way--part of what is going to make us all such great teachers is that we are so diverse in our backgrounds, in our opinions, in our experiences. i hope everyone realizes that because i really believe that it's true--i've said several times this year that i'd like to learn something from each of you and hopefully you from me. we cannot all feel the same about everything--what a boring world it would be if that were the case, that's why you've gotta throw a little gas in the fire; i think the most intense classroom discussions that we've had have been the most beneficial. we've covered a lot of controversial topics in class this semester--a few very difficult issues, and definitely all of them issues that we all feel differently about. we can all only learn from one another--or least take the chance to consider other perspectives that force us to challenge our own beliefs and more fully understand why we hold the beliefs we do. i have definitely challenged my own beliefs this semester and learned quite a bit from each of you. the least that i can say is that you all have opened my mind even more than it previously was and helped me to consider several perspectives that i had not in the past. to everyone--thanks so much for your imput on the discussion boards and in class, i've enjoyed the experience.

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Molly Flynn Peterson


Mon Apr 28, 2003 10:07 am
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Wow Molly! I can't say anything else to that-- You said it all! I totally agree with you. We're so lucky that we CAN sit around and be ourselves- and not have to conform to one idea on things. You're right- it does make this world a more interesting place! One suggestion though... My art class with Gayle Weitz last semester was incredible-- because our class got to know eachother so well. We did this by having a short dialogue to start class everyday. It didn't take long- but built relationships between all of us! We went around a circle- and answered the question/topic that Gayle presented us with... and we had to say everyone's name prior to ours. THis forced us to learn names-- which made things so much more personal. And the little tidbits of info gave us insite into eachother's personalities- so we felt more comfortable sharing things. IT was such a great experience!

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Lindsey Bennett


Mon Apr 28, 2003 4:59 pm
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As one of those quieter people who does not feel comfortable sharing a lot of ideas with the class, I thought maybe I could add a little to this discussion. I truly believe that some people are simply more shy and will not be able to speak up all the time. It is simply a different personality type. This forum has helped somewhat by being able to bring up topics and add opinions without an entire class staring at you. However, the simple fact of the matter is that some people will always be able to join in class discussions more easily than others. That's one of those aspects that makes us all different, just like Molly mentioned.


Tue Apr 29, 2003 1:37 am
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