Hello everyone and happy reading week!! I hope everyone has a restful and productive few days. Stay warm and have fun.
Here at CCP, we’re getting ready for Alternative Reading Week (starts tomorrow, yay!!) and we are also working to support students who have registered for Map The System this year (the deadline to register was January 28). For those of who don’t know what that’s all about, check out a previous post here: http://blogs.studentlife.utoronto.ca/lifeatuoft/2019/01/21/are-you-ready-to-map-the-system/
A few days ago, the Centre for Community Partnerships held a workshop called Map the System: Meet the Faculty Mentors Workshop. It was a relatively informal event, which was good because I got the general sense that the relaxed vibe of it made it easier for people to talk to each other and ask questions. After the general introduction, there were a few tables that covered the main areas that students participating in Map the System should focus on: Systems Thinking, Refining Your Research Question and Community-Engaged Learning. Being a work-study student for the Centre for Community Partnerships, I sat down at the Community-Engaged Learning table and got to discuss community-engaged learning with people! Here are some of the main points that I took away from the discussion and wanted to share with you all:
-The point of community-engaged learning is to not watch the “other”. It’s about building a reciprocal relationship with the community that you are engaging with. It’s important to involve yourself directly and form a genuine connection
-Map the System is not about fixing all the world’s problems. It’s about exploring and literally mapping, not finding a concrete solution
-When it comes to choosing an area, allow your passions to guide you, not just where you have the most initial knowledge or resources. Go where your interest is and don’t be afraid.
Regardless of whether or not you’re doing Map the System this year, these are always important things to keep in mind when you’re conducting research or doing work that involves real people and their communities.
Best of luck to everyone who has registered for Map the System and I’m really excited to see how the University of Toronto Map the System Final unfolds later this semester!