disConferencing, a five-and-a-third-hour model: Session 1

Hour ? to 1.00

Session 1, Getting Here & Exposing Diverse Points of Potential Interaction

This activity emphasizes Respect—for yourself and others—from the outset, making it more comfortable for you to Risk talking about your personal journey.  You may gain insights—Revelations—from what you hear yourself include in your stories.

A circle gets going as soon as it has filled:

  • Welcome from circle coordinator (=an organizer or a volunteer arranged by the organizer)
  • Initial 7-minute activity (guided freewriting on hopes for the dis/Conference)
  • 30-second introductions (= name or handle & hopes for the workshop)
  • Autobiographical Introductions: “How I came to be someone who would end up at a dis/Conference on this topic” –equal time for everyone (=5 minutes or less if the group starts late).
    • Gives participants an opportunity to introduce themselves in narrative depth, their current and emerging work, and learn more about each other
    • Coordinator goes first to model
    • Everyone encouraged to take notes on points of intersection, interest, curiosity. After the first four introductions stop to draw connections and discuss with a neighbor what is emerging.
  • Last 5 minutes: Decide as a group and print on large PostIts one common thread and one tension among the participants.  Print these on large PostIts (Blue for commonality and Red for tension).  Coordinator collects these and posts them on the board for Session 1.

(Page 1 of the handout has the instructions above plus instructions, http://bit.ly/Freewrite, & space for guided freewriting.)

(continued in next post)

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About Peter J. Taylor
Peter Taylor is a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he teaches and directs undergraduate and graduate programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society. His research and writing focuses on the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context, incl. Unruly Complexity: Ecology, Interpretation, Engagement (U. Chicago Press, 2005) and Nature-nurture? No (2014, http://bit.ly/NNN2014). On reflective practice, see Taking Yourself Seriously: Processes of Research & Engagement (with J. Szteiter, 2012, http://bit.ly/TYS2012).

One Response to disConferencing, a five-and-a-third-hour model: Session 1

  1. Pingback: disConferencing, a five-and-a-third-hour model: Getting set up & going « Probe—Create Change—Reflect

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