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Kira Aves – Weekly Writing & Blogs

Group Discussion Response

Members: Bella B & Michael T

I lead this week’s discussion group and we talked about whether the discussion groups helped enhance our learning experience outside of the classroom or not. We all agreed that the discussion groups did help enhance our learning outside the classroom, but that there’s ways we could improve upon the effectiveness of how groups are run.

We said that the groups should have more structure than they do now, because not everyone leads groups the same way. Because no one leads groups the same, not everyone might be getting the most out of these discussion groups as they should. Some groups don’t discuss the topics in depth as much as they could or should, so having a more structured guideline to follow on how to lead groups would be helpful to make the time spent outside of class more effective. Overall, we felt that group discussions were helpful to our learning experience if they were done right, but having it set up in a way to ensure the learning experience is maximized would make them more worthwhile.

Kira’s Discussion Group 2.0

Topic: Did you think the discussion groups helped enhance your learning experience outside the classroom? If so why and if not, what are some ways you think we could improve upon the way group discussions are run?

When and where: Friday 11/22 @ 11 am at Sykes Lobby
*I’m stupid and didn’t put the day of the week in my other post so this is the actual one I’m hosting!

Draft Comments for Haley Myers

1 Praise: Your intro gives really good insight of what your essay is going to be about and your ideas sound very good.

1 Constructive: Maybe try re-wording this sentence so it sounds more transitional from your second point to the third point. Ex: West Chester University can also promote learning beyond the campus by offering students the opportunity to interact with people in need. (or something of that nature).

Use of Percy: The quotes you chose from Percy support your ideas very well, and you seem to have a good grasp of the meaning of these quotes in the context of your essay.

Draft Comments for Jason Riberio and David Heffron

1 Praise: I like the way you worded your intro. Starting off with a question helps engage readers to want to know what you’re going to be writing about in your essay. You also have some solid ideas for your topic.

1 Constructive: Try re-wording certain parts of your essay so it flows more easily.

Use of Percy: Your overall use of Percy seems to support your points really well. This quote especially helps support your sub-point and you explained the context of it nicely.

Draft Comments for Bella Bedore

Praise: I think the beginning of your intro sounds great and is really well-worded. It gives a good background of what your essay topic is about.

Constructive: it looks like ‘facilitated discussions’ is your first method to combatting the problem you posed, and that self-guided labs is a second way. Try including that in the intro as your thesis statement so it really gives a good overview of what it is you’re going to be talking about!

Use of Percy: I think this quote you picked from Percy greatly supports your first point, and you did a good job of explaining what it means in the context of your essay.

Draft Comments for Ava Hill

Praise: I think your intro sounds great! Your thesis gives a clear overview of what your essay is going to talk about, and you incorporated the use of Percy and Freire very nicely.

Constructive: maybe briefly explain what the course EGP 209 is to give more context because I personally don’t know what it is.

Use of Percy: your essay seems to be filled with great quotes from Percy, but this one especially is good because it highlights the point behind prepackaged views.

Proposal Peer Review

Amanda Jiang and Leah Schreffler

1 praise: Your thesis is well thought out and your ideas so far will greatly support your topic. I think if the learning process at WCU was altered to your suggestions, then it would help students learn more effectively. While it may be a bit more challenging and not let students “get by” as easily, it will ultimately enhance their comprehension and critical thinking skills in the long run.

1 constructive: Maybe try elaborating more on how classroom interaction will allow students to become more involved. Will this be something that the professor has to initiate, or will it solely be based off student to student discussion?

Use of Percy: I think the two quotes you picked out will greatly strengthen your essay, especially Percy’s idea on the “educational package”. This will be good to explain Percy’s view on the education system and how it relates to/supports your ideas for altering the teaching practices at WCU.

Proposal Peer Review

Haley Myers

1 praise: I think your intro is well-worded and that you have some solid ideas to support your thesis. I especially think your idea to promote field trips and studying abroad as a way of learning outside the classroom would be very beneficial to students, and you used Freire and Percy’s ideas to support it well. 

1 constructive: Maybe try to incorporate Percy and his ideas in your intro/thesis to show how it will relate to your ideas. (ex. the idea that Percy thinks learning is most effective when students willingly go out on their own to learn and get the true experience). 

Use of Percy: I think the quotes you chose will greatly support your essay. This quote, “Our complex friend stands behind his fellow tourists at the Bright Angel Lodge and sees the canyon through them and their predicament, their picture taking and busy disregard. In a sense, he exploits his fellow tourists; he stands on their shoulders to see the canyon” will especially support Percy’s idea that when people go to experience things for themselves for the first time, they are too busy taking pictures and capturing the moment instead of really soaking in and appreciating the experience they’re having. 

Writing Project 2 Topic Proposal


Topic 2: Learning outside the classroom.

Team: myself

Thesis: The typical course load for a college student is five courses, which equates to about 12.5 to 14 hours a week spent in the actual classroom. Clearly, this leaves students with much more time on their hands outside of the classroom versus in the classroom. It is on the students to keep up with their academics and studying when they are not in the classroom, but not all students can hold themselves accountable to maintain good study habits. For this reason, it is important for students to exhibit learning outside of the classroom in order to further their educational experience at WCU. Through the use of tutoring, the opportunity to study abroad, career shadowing/internships, and discussion/study groups, students are set up for success to learn effectively outside of the classroom.


1. Tutoring
2. Studying abroad
3. Career exploration/shadowing (perhaps for underclassmen) & internships (upperclassmen)
4. Discussion/study groups


“A young Falkland Islander walking along a beach and spying a dead dogfish and going to work on it with his jackknife has, in a fashion wholly unprovided in modern educational theory, a great advantage over the Scarsdale high-school pupil who finds the dogfish on his laboratory desk” (Percy 4, ❡ 1).

“Does this mean that we should get rid of museums? No, but it means that the sightseer should be prepared to enter into a struggle to recover a sight from a museum” (Percy 6, ❡ 4).

Response to Laura

In this week’s discussion group, we talked about the similarities and differences between Percy and Freire, more specifically about their views on the education system.

Overall, there were more similarities than differences between the two scholars. Some of the similarities we talked about had to do with the fact that when we are taught or someone is teaching, no one is truly learning anything. With Percy’s view, however, his has more to do with real life experiences than learning in a classroom. Percy thinks we aren’t living in the moment and that it’s something we need to do more of. Another similarity would be that when information is presented or experienced with our own eyes, it isn’t as meaningful.

The only difference we discussed was that while they both think we, the learners, need to go out and learn for ourselves with others and our surroundings, Percy thinks that our experiences aren’t fully learned because we weren’t the first ones to experience it.

Members: Laura, Hailey, Donny, and Brandon

Response to Sean Redding

Group Members: N/A

The topics proposed for this discussion group was “how media has impacted our interpretation on things such as the Grand Canyon” and “how once something gets viewed, it starts to lose value in our eyes”.

In my opinion, media nowadays tends to overhype many of the biggest tourist attractions in the world, and make them out to be more “beautiful” and “magical” than they really are. Though I have not had personal experience with this yet, I have heard from many people that have traveled to Paris, for example, that the Eiffel Tower isn’t as grand and romantic as everyone makes it out to be. When people travel, they are obviously going to take pictures as a way to document the memories of their trip. However, when people take these photos and post them to social media, they tend to highlight the parts that they know will get a lot of attention, and make their experience appear more exaggerated than it really might be.

By the same token, when people travel literally anywhere, or even go to events they might not get to experience the same again such as a concert, they choose to spend much of their time recording and taking pictures of what they are seeing instead of really taking the time to value what they are experiencing. The way I see it is that once people get the pictures or videos they want, they don’t take the time or energy to appreciate the beauty around them.

Writing Project 1 Draft

Freire believes that students tend to record, memorize, and repeat what it is we’ve learned without perceiving what it really means. He does not agree with this style of teaching, because it does not give students the chance to truly grasp what it is they need to learn and know to pass their schooling. Additionally, this does not give teachers/professors the chance to genuinely connect with and understand their students. At WCU however, the array of diversity that exists on campus can change this way of learning for the better, despite the contrasts in race, class, and gender among the students and professors alike.

The United States is known as being a melting pot for the amount of diversity it contains. This same concept can be applied in an academic setting, especially at a campus like WCU. Many professors here come from different racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, let alone being raised in different generations. As a mixed-race student, I can say there is much diversity among the students, but differences in the way our generation grew up is very different from the way our professors might have grown up. This can create a barrier between students and professors from connecting at a deeper level, but there are ways to overcome this.

In Freire’s “The ‘Banking’ Concept of Education”, he states “Narration leads the students to memorize mechanically the narrated content. Worse yet, it turns them into “containers,” into “receptacles” to be “filled” by the teacher. The more completely she fills the receptacles, the better a teacher she is. The more meekly the receptacles permit themselves to be filled, the better students they are” (Freire 1). This is basically stating that whatever the teachers are teaching, the students mechanically take in this information, acting as receptacles, and do not truly understand the information they’re taking in. If students are wired to learn this way, they won’t have that meaningful or genuine connection to the people they’re supposed to be learning from. By recognizing the class, gender, and age differences among the students and professors at WCU, we can begin to have an appreciation for this diversity and connect on a deeper level. Although there are not any ideas implemented into carrying this out, there are some that come to mind for me.

One way we can begin to overcome this difference is by maybe starting some clubs or extra credit opportunities that promote diversity. Whether it’s an on-campus event or even just a class session where students and professors can talk more about who they are and where they come from, this allows time for us to understand one another better without judgement. If there are activities planned as an extra credit opportunity however, it would motivate students to want to participate to improve their grades, and also promote the acceptance of diversity we are striving for.

Another way this could be done is to possibly incorporate topics of diversity into certain subjects, and allowing the students to discuss these topics among their peers as a learning opportunity for them and the professor. By doing this, students can have more of an appreciation for those that came before them and how society has changed and evolved to what it is today. It is important for students today to understand life before them, as it is important for professors to understand how we are trying to navigate in today’s society, as times have drastically changed. An example of this could be a Gender and Women’s Studies class. This class discusses gender beliefs and feminism, among many other topics, but these are both concepts that have changed remarkably since the 1960’s to present day. If a professor teaching this course grew up in the 1960’s or 70’s, it would seem practically absurd for them to be teaching about gender queer or trans-gender individuals, simply because they did not grow up in a time where that was common. If students had the opportunity to discuss their perspective on this, especially because we’ve grown up in a society where this is much more common, it would allow professors to have a deeper understanding of the kinds of students they teach and the kind of society they are living in as the younger generation.

** still in the works

Topic Proposal

Topic 3: Students/Teacher Relationships @ WCU via Race/Class/Gender

Team Selection: Kira Aves

Thesis: Freire believes that students tend to record, memorize, and repeat what it is we’ve learned without perceiving what it really means. He does not agree with this style of teaching, because it does not give students the chance to truly grasp what it is they need to know and carry with them. At WCU however, the array of diversity that exists on campus can change this way of learning for the better, despite the contrasts in race, class, and gender.


“Narration leads the students to memorize mechanically the narrated content. Worse yet, it turns them into “containers,” into “receptacles” to be “filled” by the teacher. The more completely she fills the receptacles, the better a teacher she is. The more meekly the receptacles permit themselves to be filled, the better students they are.” (Freire 1, ❡ 4)

“Education must begin with the solution of the teacher-student contradiction, by reconciling the poles of the contradiction so that both are simultaneously teachers and students.” (Freire 1, ❡7)

Response to Mackenzie

In this discussion group, we talked about the quote “Here, no one teaches another, nor is anyone self-taught. People teach each other…” and how it compares and contrasts from our education system.

It was discussed that the person talking the most is the one learning the most, not the one who is listening. The reason for this train of thought is because when someone talks about something they are passionate about, they are inclined to learn more about the subject or topic of discussion and therefore share their knowledge with others. Sharing this kind of knowledge has the potential to challenge the thinking and thought process of the listeners, which can also turn into a learning lesson for the talkers, because they could be exposed to new perspectives and thoughts they might not have had before. However, our education system does not always implement this kind of learning structure. We have mostly been taught to memorize what we learn so we can succeed in our exams and be done, but this leaves little to no room for true learning from one another. If we focused less on memorization and more on learning and passing on what we know with each other, then it would make the learning process much more meaningful.

Group Members: Luke, Dana, Jenna, Lauren, Nick, Kenzie, Noah, and Bella

Response for Memorization Group

In today’s discussion group, we talked about memorization and its benefits to students, as well as its disadvantages. The question at hand was “in high school or college, do you feel as though you are being taught or only being taught to memorize?”.

We came to the conclusion that we were taught to memorize in high school more than college. In high school, we were forced to be there and felt like teachers only taught us what we needed to know and memorize in order to get good grades and graduate. Basically, we were just “getting through it”. We also agreed that once we learned what we needed to for tests, it was all forgotten after because we only memorized it, and did not fully understand what it was that we were learning. In college, it’s different because students want to pursue a further education and be successful, so the information they learn isn’t just memorized, it’s retained for much longer.

However, memorization does have its advantages. In certain careers such as nursing and medicine, you will need to have a good memorization of anatomy and how to do certain procedures. Memorizing can also help you get good grades, whether you choose to retain that information after the fact or not. On the other hand, memorization can have its disadvantages because it doesn’t teach us how to study properly. If we just memorize everything, we tend to forget it after, so it’s like we never really learned anything at all.

Members: Ava H, Rj W, Sam W, Tj F, Lauren B, Katherine S