Science City CSP Summer 2020 Cohort

Looking at Case Study #2 and the Blind spots video, answer the following:

  • At first impulse, how do you interpret that scene?
  • As the teacher, would you intervene?
  • How at if all might your blindspots affect your interpretation or your decision to intervene?
  • How do blindspots manifest themselves in a virtual setting?

I feel like Claire wasn’t understanding, and Omar kind of spoke over her and didn’t answer her question for Claire to understand what Aaliyah was proposing. I might intervene to see if I understood the situation correctly and could lead Omar to providing a better answer for Claire. Knowing the background of my students and their “normal” understanding of situations and problems and their interpersonal relationships. A virtual setting doesn’t always allow you to see body language and inferences that facial expressions will give. Especially if you are working on one thing and listening on the zoom call and you aren’t actually viewing all the participants all the time.

I’m not sure if I would intervene or not. These kinds of activities and scenarios like this case study makes me really address whether or not I’m looking at it objectively. Even if i’m constantly thinking about my own personal biases and blindspots, it would be silly to think they’re all gone. It might be even worse in virtual setting because all we can do is see a very limited version of others with nothing else.

At first impulse I would think it is a pretty normal interaction between students. I wouldn’t intervene right away but would continue to monitor the situation to make sure that Omar wasn’t too pushy with his reply back (tone makes a huge difference in interpretation). Blindspots would affect your interpretation if these are students that you’ve spent a lot of time with and know their personalities (oh, that’s just Omar or oh, that’s just Claire).

I think blindspots can more easily manifest in a virtual setting because you’re not physically in the room with them and you typically miss out on a lot of body language and other important factors that help you get to know someone so you have to “fill in the blanks” with personal biases or experiences whether you do it on purpose or without realizing it.

  • At first impulse, how do you interpret that scene? I am not sure if I would intervene or not.
  • As the teacher, would you intervene? No, It seems like a lesson in bad manners, but it is hard to tell without the inflections.
  • How at if all might your blindspots affect your interpretation or your decision to intervene? Certain students are more or less aggressive in general, if I saw a student behaving too aggressively and I know that is a challenge for them I may address it after class.
  • How do blindspots manifest themselves in a virtual setting? My experience was that some students totally flipped when we went to distance learning. Some who had been strong students really faltered, or vice versa. I think I need to reset my mental version of each student more often.

At first impulse I would want Omar to be more polite in his responses. I probably would not intervene unless I saw continued negativity towards individual student input. I don’t like bullies however, I understand that teenagers spout off things that aren’t always deemed acceptable behavior in a professional setting and they don’t always get a offended as we do as adults. I would probably take cues from Claire. I feel like blindspots will be more prevalent in a virtual setting. There will be a disconnect in non-verbal communication.

  • At first impulse it seemed like Omar dismissed Claire and that she wasn’t a valued member of the class/group.
  • I have mixed feelings about intervening. Personally, I might say something like, “I hear what you are saying Omar, but it sounds like Claire was asking about how to number the packets–is that what you meant, Claire?” Or point out that she had a good question and I’m glad she asked it while giving a more appropriate response as an example. It depends on the students, in some ways. I had a student in an Econ class last year that was rude and she didn’t care that she was rude and her classmates just accepted that that was how she was, but I usually tried to either point it out, give examples of other ways to say it, or try to give her an example of what it would be like for someone to say something similar to her. Personally, I don’t know if it made much of a difference, but I didn’t feel like I could just let her talk down to others that way.
  • I think I am a little more sensitive to when students put down other students. It is just one of those things that pushes my buttons, so that affected my interpretation. It could be that Claire is normally completely outspoken, but it seemed to me that she was maybe the type that gets talked down to on a regular basis (that is an assumption, so again a blind spot), so I felt more inclined to intervene.
  • In a virtual setting I think it is harder to judge nonverbal communication. We aren’t in person so we are more likely to use those snap judgements. I’m guilty of thinking that someone reminds me of someone else and I’ve already put a filter over how I see that person. I feel like I am getting worse about that as I get older–I should be wiser and more openminded!
  • At first impulse, how do you interpret that scene? I do think that Omar is being more assertive, however I don’t know that is a bad thing based on the information we are given. Aaliyah answered for Claire and honestly, maybe Claire did not have a chance to make a comment back. Some days I can be assertive and other days I have moments where I misspeak about a topic I am working on. I would need more information to adequately address this question.
  • As the teacher, would you intervene? As a teacher, I would not intervene per se, but I would interject and tell Claire that I had like her reference to binary considering we are working on the subject matter.
  • How at if all might your blindspots affect your interpretation or your decision to intervene? I would need to know more about the classroom dynamics to evaluate the depth of intervention. If Omar was always rude, I would call him out on it. If Claire needed encouragement to be more assertive, I would try and model that as well.
    The non-verbal communication is what is most challenging in a virtual setting.
  • My first interpretation is that Claire is confused about what Omar and Aaliyah are talking about when it comes to addressing packets.

  • As a teacher, I would intervene. I would ask Aaliyah and Omar to explain what they mean. I think that exercise would benefit Aaliyah and Omar and help clear up Claire’s confusion. It would also help me! I’ve had students understand things before I do, and I also need to know what they mean.

  • My blindspot when it comes to CS is definitely gender (I still picture a white dude in my mind when I hear the word “coding.”) We’ve learned (thanks!) that women and minorities are underrepresented in CS, so I feel responsible for making sure girls (I had all white students in my CS class this past year) in my classrooms feel confident and empowered. I’ve felt that impulse with both Molly in Case Study 1 and Claire in Case Study 2. I think that learning about my gender blindspot has prompted me to recognize situations in my own classrooms where I can provide more gender equity.

  • I think my blindspots could get worse in a virtual setting, because I can’t see what my students are doing. I feel so disconnected to people over digital interfaces that I worry I’ll struggle to recognize my blindspots in those situations. Thankful for this question to keep me thinking about them!

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What would looking at it objectively look like? Would that help overcome our blindspots?

At first impulse, how do you interpret that scene?
My first thought is that it is fine.
As the teacher, would you intervene?
At first no.
How at if all might your blindspots affect your interpretation or your decision to intervene?
My blindspot affected my decision to not intervene.
How do blindspots manifest themselves in a virtual setting?
It is often easier to dismiss what other people are saying or to say something unkind.

After watching the video, I recognize that it seems Omar dismisses Claire’s statement about numbering with a binary number. Aaliyah follows suit, and does not acknowledge Claire’s statement. This could lead to Claire shutting down or thinking that Omar and Aaliyah are the more intelligent students in the group.

As a teacher, I should intervene and give Claire support by asking the group, and specifically Claire, about binary numbers and the choice to use them.

As a teacher in the classroom, I recognize that we often set a tight schedule for our students to accomplish goals. This potentially makes learning difficult when students process at different speeds. The quick processor has to slow down to match the slower processor. If the students are tying to meet a time deadline, slowing down is not always a viable option, assuming the time deadline is most important. If learning is most important, then the use of time deadlines is an external motivator and used for behavior management in the classroom (and possibly journalism :slight_smile: ).