Creating Our Classroom Culture


This section of this textbook is designed to support our classroom culture so that we can learn, support, and grow with one another.

“黑胡椒蝦片 Prawn Cracker with Black Pepper” / 中國飲食文化 中国饮食文化 Chinese Food Culture / SML.20130211.EOSM.01866

““黑胡椒蝦片 Prawn Cracker with Black Pepper” / 中國飲食文化 中国饮食文化 Chinese Food Culture / SML.20130211.EOSM.01866” by See-ming Lee (SML) is licensed with CC BY 2.0.

The activities below will focus on:

  • talking about our classroom culture
  • developing shared values
  • planning for collective care
  • setting learning goals

A. Warm up

Have you heard of the words collectivist or collectivism? Do an internet search for this word to find a short definition. Then check your definition with your classmates and instructor. This class will work with a collectivist approach to learning. This means we will place special emphasis on:

  • Whole group success
  • Group members as resources
  • Interaction
  • Conversation
  • Collaboration
  • Relationship and trust building

These features of our class will help us build community and the skills we need to succeed!

B. Shared Values Activity

Follow the steps below to begin talking about your values and those you may share with your classmates and instructor.

  1. Make a list of the things that are important for you in a learning environment. What values do you want to see in this learning environment? (Some examples may include: making sure every person gets a chance to speak, supporting the learning of your classmates, etc.)
  2. Then, join a small group of your classmates to share and discuss your ideas.
  3. With your classmates, create a poster (or another type of visual aid) in the classroom to show the key values you have listed.
  4. Review the items listed and discuss which items are a priority for the class. Is there anything to add or modify?
  5. Refer to these shared values during class activities and interactions.

C. Planning for Self-Care and Support

As we learn, it is often challenging to remember to take care of our health, this includes our minds and bodies. Being a student can be really stressful.

  1. With a small group or partner, make a list of actions you can take weekly to help take care of yourself as a learner.
  2. Share your ideas with your instructor and the class. How many self-care actions did you come up with together?
  3. Which actions can you practice daily, weekly, monthly, etc.?
  4. What can you do if it becomes difficult to practice self-care during your studies?
  5. Keep this list of actions so that you can refer to it as needed.

D. Setting Personal and Collective Goals

Goal setting can be a really helpful way to plan for success and keep motivated in learning. Share your ideas with your classmate(s) and instructor.

Think about what goals you have for yourself in this class. Write down between 1-3 goals you would like to focus on in your learning.

Goals for this class:

Now think about how you will work to achieve these goals. Write down some steps you can take to reach the goals you listed above.

Steps I can take:

Lastly, think about what you may need from your classmates, teacher, and/or community to help you reach your goals. Remember that this is a learning community built on collective support. Help us understand how we can support you!

Support I may need from my community:

Note: Your instructor can do this goal setting activity too! We all have goals we want to reach!