This activity gets students thinking about different elements that contribute to the reading and construction of an image and the impact on the difference of the site of presentation of work. It is not intended to be a question and answer session – it should be a lively discussion conducted either in two groups or small groups (that is then fed back to the whole group) or as one that engages the whole group.
When deciding it is important to consider whether the group are used to or comfortable participating in group discussions. Sometimes small groups make the environment easier
for all to participate and contribute to discussions.
If the group is new to each other or there are gaps between those who are more comfortable speaking and those who are not then it is important to create the environment for these discussions and reflections to take place.
- If the group is small and works well expressing opinion and engaging in discussions –
questions can be shared and dialogues can be created with the involvement of the whole group.
- If the group is large then it may be easier to split the group into smaller groups and keep the discussions within the small groups. It is important to share your time listening and responding to each group.
- If the group enjoy team activities – split the group into ‘teams’ and ask each team to share with the other teams after a moment of team discussion. This process takes longer but it means the everyone gets an overview of the differing opinions and discussions happening in the wider group, as well as being able to participate in a small group discussion.
In order to engage a whole group in discussion it is important to have both
‘direct’ AND ‘open ended’ questions.
– Direct questions are great for getting discussions going – and for re-directing discussion.
– Open ended questions draw out discussion and ask people to begin to express their opinions.
Your role as facilitator is to ask questions and prompt discussion – so ask for further elaboration on answers given, and ask people to respond to each other’s answers.
It is so important for young people to develop the confidence and ability to express their opinions and perspectives with their peers and adults.
In our project we wanted to develop a discussion about the multiple exhibitions that we went to see on our trip to Brighton. We had a range of simple questions that relied on people expressing opinions, reflecting on their experience and remembering what they learned.
We began the discussion by watching a powerpoint compiled of images made by the students on the trip. Each student had a section and some were reminders of the exhibitions and the photographic activities undertaken on the trip. This in itself stimulated a lot of discussion and
the students enjoyed seeing their own and others work. Everyone received recognition for their active participation on the trip.
For our session we had a whole group discussion and staff prompted and asked particular students to contribute as well as leaving space for open student-led discussion – so we ensured active participation by most students in the class. Teaching staff were also encouraged to feed in their reflections on the trip.
- Which was your favourite exhibition?
- Can you describe an image that you liked from this exhibition?
- Can you name some of the different ways that we saw images displayed?
- Can you remember the name of the image making equipment that was
in the caravan on the seafront?
- How did it work differently from a camera?
- What do you feel the use of different kinds of exhibition spaces (discussion)
– Think about the different spaces that we visited and consider whether different
kinds of exhibition spaces make a difference to how you experience the work?
- Give an example of this and tell us why?
- Has the trip made you think differently about what a gallery is, and how itworks?
8a. If so, How?
- How did it feel to go to a city that you had never visited before? (And for some of
you to be by the sea in Britain for the first time?)