Advisor Meeting: Soren

I met with Soren shortly after Keith. In our meeting, we reviewed both of my learning problem statements (v2). While we agreed that both learning problem statements were important, we were also both leaning more towards learning problem 2. The “how might we” portion of learning problem 2 is as follows:

How might we create a safe space for Joe to learn how to develop empathy? How can we help him experience other people’s life perspectives? How can we challenge him to have healthy discussions in real life about difficult topics?

Like Keith, Soren encouraged me to read further about perspective-taking. He mentioned that a critical part of my project will be providing a comfortable, safe space for learners to engage in these challenging topics. We also thought about what currently stops people from engaging in challenging conversations about race (or gender, political affiliation, etc). Is it that they don’t want to know? Or they don’t know how? We wondered how many people actually want to understand their biases better and are they willing to take on other people’s perspectives?  To answer this, we thought using what Mingming taught us about gauging user interest with a lo-fi prototype would be useful. For instance, I could create a lo-fi text-game and host it on to see how many people engage with it. A potential problem for learners may be feeling threatened or judged which would demotivate them from participating in these conversations. We also discussed better understanding how communication skills are fostered, especially in difficult conversations.

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