At the beginning of this course, I was not expecting the collective course statement to take the shape that it did. I imagined it would turn out more like a PowerPoint presentation where we would assemble into our little groups, work on our solutions for a few class days, and then give small group presentations to the whole class via one of Microsoft Office’s oldest pieces of software. However, this is not at all how this project turned out, and I’m so grateful for that.
Instead, we spent a few days brainstorming ideas and solutions in small groups, and compiling them into a paragraph. At the end, we added all of these paragraphs up to form about a page-and-a-quarter long statement that we edited as a group, and plan to use to guide the decisions of future study abroad students. I’m incredibly proud of the work that came as a result of this project–the statement is coherent, eloquent, and thoughtful. It contains evidence to support its claims, and the voice isn’t pretentious–it speaks to the readers and potential study abroad students as equals, not as inferiors.
I personally feel that it helped me to become more comfortable speaking in groups because the dynamic of this class is always open and welcoming. I remember suggesting that a review board (like an IRB) should be a potential solution to medical voluntourism, and my whole group agreed. This instilled more confidence in me, and I will remember that as I move into higher level class, and life in general.
As an aspiring high school English teacher, I would love to create a lesson plan similar to this and utilize it in the future, because it will help my students grow personally and academically.