Sunday, February 27, 2011

Glendale Community College Collaboration

My first online collaboration in Second Life took place this week with a student from Glendale Community college. I was mildly nervous going into this collaboration because I wasn't sure if I was comfortable enough navigating around Second Life. But this collaboration was actually a good one to start out with because most of the "behind-the-scenes" work was already done, which allowed me to focus on preparing for the conversation. 

The conversation that I had with my partner was an interesting one. I knew that there were issues of gender in education but I had never sat down with someone and talked about them in-depth. My partner asked me a lot of questions pertaining to stereotypical gender behavior in students that I've worked with. It was when I was answering his question that I realized that many times when I witnessed children playing, the girls were playing house or were a princess that needed rescuing while the boys played sports or they were soldiers. I had never given thought to how children play in terms of societal gender roles. The big question that really got me thinking was when he asked me if I felt I interacted better with one gender over another, which is something I haven't thought of. As a future teacher, I wanted to believe that I got along with all my students equally but as we continued talking, I realized that I identified more with girls because I "spoke their language." It was good to come to this realization before I enter the classroom because I know that I'll have to be conscious about building relationships with all my students and not the ones I feel more comfortable with. 

In the end, the conversation between my partner and I was mutually beneficial. I got to see how gender played a role in interactions between myself and my students, my students and each other and student learning. My partner was able to take his theories of gender and bias and put them in a classroom perspective. 

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