This class is based on the premise that anyone who intends to contribute positively to a community, whether through being an educator, a family member, or simply a citizen in a town, gains from a familiarity with how small groups operate. Students in this class explore group development, groups as systems, norms and climate, roles and leadership in groups, non-verbal and verbal communication, group influence and decision making, power and conflict in groups, and gender and other diversity in groups. Participants will cultivate self-awareness regarding group participation, and explore what it means to be a positive group member in a range of circumstances. Students will use both the leadership role and the observer role to become astute observers of group dynamics and cultivate effective communication and participation strategies in the small group setting.
In spring 2018 this class will run as part of the Southwest Field Semester.