How to Facilitate the Spectrum Activity in Your Classroom

How to Facilitate the Spectrum Activity in Your Classroom


[MUSIC] Hi, I’m Robby Rautenberg. I’m an LSA instructor and the director of the Global Scholars
Program at the University of Michigan.>>Hi, I’m Catalina Ormsby. I’m the Associate Director for the Undergraduate Research
Opportunity Program, and also I lecture at
the School of Social Work. This video is part of a project by
the LSNA Undergraduate Education Campus Climate Committee, and founded by
a CRLT Faculty Development Fund Grant. To create inclusive teaching resources,
to be used at classrooms, in the University of Michigan.>>These resources have been
developed with instructors in mind. We’re providing videos of activities being
done, curriculum of how to lead them, the materials and handouts you would need
to give to students, so that you can be successful in using activities that
are based in inclusive teaching.>>In preparation, you will find
a resource on our website that gives full definitions and
explanations of all social identity terms. It will be helpful to be
familiar with these terms before conducting the activity. Part of preparing as an instructor
is doing our own identity work. That means becoming comfortable with terms
and also continuing to develop our own self-awareness and understanding
the impact of our own identity. It is not realistic to think we will know
everything of our identity prior to going into a facilitator setting, but committing to an ongoing process is an essential
part of engaging in inclusive teaching.>>We invite you to check out our
website for a range of other resources. You’ll see other videos of activities, as well as other resources on how to
have inclusive teaching pedagogy.>>This video illustrates three exercises, the Personal Identity Wheel, the Social
Identity Wheel, and the Spectrum Activity. All three exercises help students
understand their personal and social identities. The students who are presented in
this video participated as volunteers in a simulated classroom setting.>>And you’ll notice in the video
that the demographic of the students is maybe atypical for a classroom. And you might find that it represents
a diversity that’s different from what you have in your classroom.>>It is important to have some activities
for students to get to know each other in advance of these activities, given
the level of sharing they will provide. [MUSIC] The goals of these exercises are to help
students understand differences between personal and social identities. And to get to know classmates both as
individuals and as members of groups. And to think about why
belonging to groups matter and has consequences in
interactions with others. Additionally, these exercises help
students feel perspective taken, ideally empathy, for classmates by
knowing more about their peers. And can help build relations
amongst students through personal sharing to improve teamwork. Be sure to understand your
specific classroom goals and share them with the students. There are many reasons an instructor
might choose to do these exercises. These exercises, the Personal Identity
Wheel, the Social Identity Wheel, and the Spectrum Activity,
can be used separately. Though I recommend bringing them together
to help make the strongest points. These exercises can help in all
disciplinary classrooms, especially when students will be expected to work in
groups or teams or when they might utilize their classic knowledge of personal
experiences to link to class content. These exercises help students get to know
one another and also set the framework for appropriate personal
sharing in the classroom. They also seem to yield higher level
of sharing from quieter students who begin to feel more comfortable
in the same environment for sharing. Finally, these exercises help
students identify trends and patterns across groups which
may help instructors anticipate future dynamics related to what
the group is naturally sensitive about. What students know or understand which
may affect decisions about ratings, discussion or preparation for
class topics. Also, there is a lot of personal
sharing during the session. We encourage you to create guidelines for participation during one of
your first class sessions and remind students about that as they
prepare to participate in class. If you haven’t established
those community norms, then take some time at the beginning
of this session to do so. [MUSIC] These are the materials you will need for
these activities. The Personal Identity Wheel handout,
the Social Identity Wheel handout, and the identity group signs around the room,
and tape to hang the signs. The room is typically set up with
chairs in a circle, and students will need to be able to move around the room
at different points in the session. So most room setups are okay as
long as they can do that easily. [MUSIC] The Personal Identity Wheel is a worksheet
that asks students to consider various aspects of who they are. It includes questions like favorite food,
number of siblings, hidden talents. And it’s a relatively low risk way of
encouraging some reflection and sharing. Students first feel this out for
themselves. And then might share with a partner,
small groups, and then in a bigger group
setting if interested. For example, it may be fun to have some students to
share hidden talents with the big group. In the debriefing, one can ask if it was
easy or hard to fill out the worksheet, if it was easy or hard to share
this information with other people. All of this helps students both
understand personal identity as well as provide a comparison for
exploring social identity. This exercise can be debriefed
in a variety of ways. For example,
students could gather in groups of four. They could also stand and gather with
two to three people for one minute, and then move on to another group for
another minute or two. You could do several rounds of this. This speech-sharing approach
maximizes the number of people who are introduced to one another. One could also do a full group
debrief by asking questions such as, what was the hardest prompt to answer and
why? Would anyone like to share
their favorite food, music etc. This is a great icebreaker activity, too. As an instructor, this is a good
way to connect with students. So consider sharing some of your
favorites with them as well. The amount of time dictates how much
sharing is done for each wheel. Sometimes, the Personal Identity Wheel
is filled out and you move on,
sometimes it is shared with others. [MUSIC] The social identify handout available
at our website includes a definition of social identities and then also lists many
examples of how people might identify. The Social Identity Wheel on the back
of the page is a different way for our students to reflect on
other aspects of who they are. These aspects are uniquely
different from the questions on the Personal Identity Wheel. And include questions about one’s race,
gender, social class, religion, etc. Including some questions about which
of these identities they think most or least about. Just as they did with the personal
identity wheel, students first fill this out, then might share elements
of it with one or two peers. And that is the proof in a large group. When getting students into
groups of two or three to share, it is important to ask them to only
speak to the questions in the middle of the wheel, which include which identities
they think most and least about. This is to avoid students feeling the need
to out themselves in different ways, and rather to allow the students to
self-disclose at their own pace. When you debrief this wheel in the big
group, it can be interesting to both explore students’ experience filling out
and sharing this wheel and to compare it to the experience they had filling out and
sharing the Personal Identity Wheel. Be sure to understand all
terms on the sheet so you’re prepared to answer
questions from students. For example, Jewish identity is listed
as both a religion and an ethnicity. Students frequently ask for
clarification about that. Similarly, terms presenting gender
fluidity, such as gender ****, are often newer to us
the instructors than to students. So it’s important for us to know the definition and
be able to respond if students ask. Additionally think of all that you
would like to share with your students, they’re curious about you, too. Think about what you feel
comfortable telling about yourself. It is important to do our own work
around identities as instructors, so we’re ready to respond
to students’ questions.>>I consider myself biracial because
I’m half African American and I’m half Mexican. Some I’m a little of both. So when I put biracial, it leaves a blank space where people
who don’t know exactly what two I am.>>And being lower class or
middle class and your socioeconomic class is different
depending on where you are.>>Since I’ve entered college I have had
like an identity confusion to where I’ve never considered myself to
be African American and I often got angry when people
even called me African American. Because you don’t know what
a person’s roots even are. So you can’t look at me and just tell me
that I’m African American when I don’t know if my ancestors are African at all.>>It’s so weird because every time it’s
the same question, so that I linger longer around and every single time,
it’s like I have different considerations. And it’s just because of
my personal experiences. [MUSIC]>>Once you debrief the Social Identity
Wheel activity you will move onto the spectrum activity. You will need to prepare a set
of questions or statements, and students will select one of the social
identities you have posted in the room that they feel best answers the prompt.>>So, what part of your identity do you
think people first notice about you? Your questions may vary depending on what
topics you would like to focus on for the level of sharing in the room. Instructors can always add questions after
every share hour for clarification or reflection. There are different ways to
debrief the spectrum activity. For instance, students can answer
the question or prompt and then walk around the room choosing
one of the social identities. So which of your identities
have the strongest effect on how you see
yourself as a human student? You can then decide to do
a large group share out or you can choose to do small
group sharing instead. Some students may be more comfortable
sharing in small groups and areas but other students may be more
comfortable in large group settings.>>Understanding that I can’t separate
my gender and my skin color and my ethnicities into three
separate compartments like there is here it’s not as neat as that. And so with me I think a lot of
people brought up spaces, and the demographics within those spaces,
and the people within the space. And I think that’s something
that’s very important to me, or that’s very salient to me and my identity. Because depending on who’s in the room,
that’s how I interact and that’s how I come into myself. So I think that was something
that was really important to me.>>Walking into a lecture
hall as a freshman and seeing the sea of MacBooks around me, really taking in the fact that everyone
was at a different level than I was. That really made me zoom out and
examine my experience as a whole and just think about why is that different and
what are the reasons that my family has had such a different
experience than your family.>>One point to note at the very end
is that the personal identity will help us to get to know
each other as individuals. Which is very important. The Social Identity Wheel and
Spectrum Exercise helps us to see that the groups we belong
to are also important in our lives. If we think we’re interacting
as individuals but are consciously or unconsciously
stereotyping someone based on their group memberships then our
work is less productive. When we are aware of the dynamics of
both who we are as individuals and as members of groups,
we can work most effectively together.>>To help you in utilizing these
activities in your classroom, we have included some sample
spectrum questions on our website. Feel free to select which questions
work best for your class and of course to edit and
add additional questions as you desire. Let us know how it goes.

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