III. VIEWER ACTIVITIES
A Viewers' Workshop
The following workshop is designed for educators or others interested in viewing the video as the start of an ongoing, in-depth discussion about public engagement in their school or community, but the outline can readily be adapted to your particular situation. (For example, parts 1 and 2 can be used to structure a more general conversation about the video.)
The workshop takes between one and a half and two hours, including the 30-minute video.
Part 1: Preparing to Watch the Video (15-20 minutes)
Before viewing the video, invite participants to discuss a few of the following questions:
- What does public engagement mean to you?
- What is the appropriate role of "outsiders"?
- What role does tension play in creating an energy for action? How can it help? How might it hinder?
- When are different types of action - adversarial, consensus-based, gradual - appropriate? When can adversarial actions help move communities?
Part 2: Watching the Video (30 minutes)
Ask participants to consider the following questions as they watch the video. Make clear that these questions will be discussed after the video.
- What elements of engagement did you see there?
- What did you think was most powerful?
- What concerns did it raise for you?
- Do parents have power? When?
Part 3: Discussing the Issues Raised in the Video (45-60 minutes)
The purpose of this discussion is to gain a deeper understanding of the work of B.U.I.L.D. and the issues it raises about public engagement. It offers a way to begin a conversation about the implications of this work in your own school or community.
|Ensuring a Good Conversation:
A Few Basic Groundrules
- Identify a facilitator and a timekeeper.
- Set norms for the discussion. Be sure all participantshave an opportunity to understand and agree to these norms. They may want to add others.
- Focus on the video and the discussion in it. Refer to specific examples from the video in your discussion.
- Build on what others say.
- Listen carefully and do not "step on" one another's talk.
- Converse -- no need to raise your hand, but don't interrupt either.
- Expose and challenge your own assumptions.
- Watch your airtime.
Present or elicit several focus questions for the discussion. Here are some suggestions.
- What excites you about the story of B.U.I.L.D.?
- What did you see happening that you hadn't thought was possible?
- How could you reach out to schools and community-based organizations more effectively to improve achievement?
- Who has the power: Parents? Community? The district?
- How could you get more school people to see the advantage(s) of bringing in community voices?
- How could you get more superintendents to believe that, by sharing decision making, they actually gain the power of constituencies rather than losing face?
- Is the question of "power" more difficult in urban districts?
- Did watching this video change your definition of public engagement? How?
- What is "community-asset mapping"? How is it done? Why would you do it?
- Which of the following characteristics of successful public engagement initiatives (based on research by the Annenberg Institute) did you see in B.U.I.L.D.?
-- inclusive, in-depth dialogue
-- dedication to real improvement in schools
-- commitment to creating dynamic partnerships
-- working to find common ground
-- candor and mutual trust