Good morning everyone, I have another question for you all!
At our small college, we provide a field seminar class every week for BSW students. The premise behind the course is to offer peer supervision for our students; and a place and space to make sense of what they are learning in their field placement. In years past, this model has worked well. The past year was different-significant student mental health challenges post-pandemic and field supervisors' retention issues resulted in a lot of negative issues being shared in the seminar class. Students reported that the field seminar class had become a place to 'trauma dump'. I want to change this negative perspective and the learning culture to be more trauma-informed, compassionate, supportive, and positive for everyone. More specifically I value your thoughts on how you manage seminars to be more:
I plan to use this summer to find ways to reconstruct the seminar class and reflect on my teaching style to continuously improve the learning for our students. I truly value your thoughts and ideas. I use the summer to find ways to recreate my course and hopefully, my question can facilitate learning for us all! Katharine
Our BSW seminars meet once a week for 75 minutes. We typically have between 6 and 9 students in a seminar. We use a structured syllabus with readings and assignments. Students take rotating roles throughout the semester. Each seminar there is 1 student assigned to the faciliator role, 1 assigned as the primary reader role, and 1 as the case presenter. The facilitator is responsible for creating the agenda for the sessions which allows for check-ins, a review and discussion of the readings (led by the primary reader) and the case presentation. The facilitator's role is to mananage time, ensure all students voices are heard, that air-time is shared appropriately and do weave in points about that session's topic during check ins and discussions. Sometimes they also bring in a little fun team building or reflective activity. The primary reader leads the discussion of the readings, but everyone is expected to do the readings and participate in the discussion. The case presenter gives a 15 minute presentaiton of a client or project with questions for their peers and then there is about 10-15 minutes of discussion. It's sometimes challenging to fit everything in but the structure helps to keep things on track and allows time for checking in and processing without too much risk of going unproductively negative.
Molly, what a wonderful model! Thank you so so much for your thoughts. I love how you have created the seminar in a way that the students own it instead of you as faculty. Great idea! Brilliant. Katharine
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