Colby McMahon, GBP Student
As we most often go back in time to study the history and progression of the Greater Boston area, coming back to the present time in GBP can be a nice change. Current Event Discussions (or CEDs, as we call them) are a way we connect with present day issues. Each student is given a specific presentation date where they will share something interesting and important that is of current interest in the Boston area. Breaking up into three small groups within our larger class, each person presents their story and questions, often sparking great responses and debates. Their main goal is to summarize the issue to provide background knowledge for the listeners, then to provide engaging questions for the listeners to respond to that relate to one of our two content learning goals: identity and perception or cultural change. An important part of The GBP curriculum is developing Oral Communication skills; the frequency of these mini presentations, as well as the small group settings, provide a great time to better these skills. And with all of the stories brought up and the diversity of views on them, the class debates always spark a very interesting discussion.
So far, there have been a large majority of stories involving political events, local business issues, and police brutality. The implementing of body cams on police officers, in particular, was addressed by many presenters and seemed to be something that everybody seemed to share a different view on. With all the different stories involving law enforcement in the world today, police brutality is an issue being talked about across the news. The differing viewpoints the debates often lead to arguments within the group. I can specifically remember looking at certain classmates and watching as their facial expression made it clear they did not agree with what another person had said; personally, I can also remember some comments that made me rather frustrated. With that being said, however, the issues brought up always spark interest and a conversation that can be informative. It’s important for people to consider these big issues.
The CED setting brings up issues that cause people who often don’t speak to come out and share a topic they feel strongly about. Being in the small groups provides a place of comfort for people to speak out in this way as well as work on their oral communications. The small group aspect provides a place to practice so when the “big stage” ( or speaking to the whole class) comes around, people feel confident and ready from the feedback and practice they got within their small groups. Taking time to reflect on present day issues is something we don’t do enough in school now and is a very positive thing we’re able to experience in GBP.
GBP Students Colby McMahon (left) and Eliza Corderman (right) present their CEDs to their small groups. (Photos by Ms. Tincher)
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