The student-driven design project was an interesting and exciting way for students to help and contribute to our school. Different teams focused on different parts of our new school design. We budgeted, made 3d models, and used programs such as sketchup and photoshop to do this. Because the students of the school were involved, the final product will be guaranteed to be more suited to fit the needs of the students. We were the ones that encouraged certain ideas and put our needs into it so it fits us better. A part of this project was budgeting a shared space in our school design. My group chose an outdoor courtyard area to finance. While doing this, I realized that understanding how much everything cost was a lot more complex than I thought it was. We ran into a little trouble with our green space-and-tiles area where we had to measure the area of the tiles and grass, and put them together in a way in which was easy to cut and also environmentally friendly. We also tasked ourselves with finding the prices of specific flowers that we were going to have around our fountain. This took more time than we expected, and took a lot of research to get everything right.
The group that I worked in to complete this project ended up splitting into two separate groups. We had a group of four, and over the course of the project, we migrated apart until two people would be working on the same thing together, and the other two another. This was useful during some parts, but we had trouble communicating and combining our work. I wasn’t completely satisfied with my work in the group. During the beginning stages of planning and prototyping I helped quite a bit and helped make sure the group was on task. As the project dragged on I became bored and started only helping when given a task to do. It was hard to be motivated after doing the same project for four hours a day for weeks. Looking back on it, I think I should have pushed myself to find a part of the project that was new and interesting to me so I could get back to work. If I had connected the project more personally I think I would have been more interested in working on it for so long.
In my opinion it is very important for students to have a say in anything pertaining them, especially the appearance of the place they practically live. During the beginning stage of designing, we learned about empathy interviews. Although interviewing outsiders is still important, I think the opinions of students and staff should be weighted more heavily. There are many types of students that go to Animas. If each of them has a contribution they will most likely enjoy school more, especially if it is something like a quiet room for introverts or a skate park for those who skateboard. These things will help the students to feel more at home, and more connected to the school if it shares the same interests as them.
Group Feedback: Read over the following Participatory Decision-making Core Values!
Full Participation In a participatory group, all members are encouraged to speak up and say what's on their minds. This strengthens a group in several ways. Members become more courageous in raising difficult issues. They learn how to share them.
Mutual Understanding In order for a group to reach a sustainable agreement, the members need to understand and accept the legitimacy of one another's needs and goals. Their basic sense of acceptance and understanding is what allows people to develop innovative ideas that incorporate everyone's point of view.
Inclusive Solutions Inclusive solutions are wise solutions. Their wisdom emerges from the integration of everybody's perspectives and needs. These are solutions whose range and vision is expanded to take advantage of the truth held not only by the quick, the articulate, the most powerful and influential, but also of the truth held by the slower thinkers, the shy, the disenfranchised and the weak. As the Quakers say, “Everybody has a piece of the truth.”
Shared Responsibility In participatory groups, members feel a strong sense of responsibility for creating and developing sustainable agreements. They recognize that they must be willing and able to implement the proposals they endorse, so they make every effort to give and receive input before final decisions are made.
Answer the following questions by yourself:
On a scale of 1-4 with 4 being the highest, rate each group member on their Full Participation (include yourself)
Willa: 3 Jackson: 2.5 Ori: 2.5 Kaylee: 3.5
On a scale of 1-4 with 4 being the highest, rate each group member on their Shared Responsibility(include yourself)
Willa: 3 Jackson: 2 Ori: 2.5 Kaylee: 3
Within your group, which core value was most valuable to meeting your final deadline? Why?
I think the core value that was the most valuable to our group was participation. Even though not all of us did a lot of work, we needed every person to do what they did so our group was done on time. Sometimes it was only Ori and Jackson that were doing the main work, and other times it was me and Kaylee.
In general, which of the four values did your group struggle with the most in this project? Why do you think this was the case?
The value that my group struggled with the most in the design project was probably mutual understanding. At times we had disagreements and weren’t willing to talk to each other about it and some of our group was annoyed with the others. I think this happened because we were all pretty different from each other and didn’t understand them at times.
Given that you are receiving a group grade for the work you have completed is there anything you want the teachers to know about to ensure each member receives a fair grade?
Luckily, even though I am not fond of group projects, this one had each group member contributing to something, even if it did take some nagging. Because of that, there is nothing I have to add because for an assigned group project, it went pretty well.