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I have been on both sides of this idea, as a facilitator and participant. I took environmental science and sat in the position of a student, and the year later I became a TA for the course and was suddenly the facilitator. Each lab session is set up so that all members face each other in a circle. The environment of this circle is inclusive and accepting of what all members wish to speak. This is similar to the circle’s explained in the Judy Chicago’s art pedagogy video, in that the circle becomes a space where all students feel valued and that their life experience is important. This concept worked well in the environmental science classroom, and I have no doubt it would be equally or more successful for a group of feminist artists.
I found some juxtaposition between Judy Chicago’s Dinner Table and these circles because both portray a goal of inclusiveness and openness. This circle idea relates to my concept on feminist art and pedagogy in that like Chicago, I wish to form a class environment that involves dialogue, inclusiveness, and openness. It also relates to my concept of using technology in new ways because these circles do not only have to be literal, but can also be created through the use of technology, such as for this portal.
In my experience, these circles work the best when the members get to know each other, and when it is stated from the beginning that the circle is a judgment free area that has the sole intent of helping each other grow. Being patient with the participants to contribute in the growing process is also vital, for it takes more time for some then others to get used to this sort of communication. I would use this idea in the art education classroom in order to help inspire my students and share ideas with one another.