Compromise Then and Now

Posted on June 7, 2013 by


I learned a lot about the Constitutional Convention while doing this project, not only from the information but also the format of the project by having 16 students work together. One of the main themes in both was definitely compromise. To compromise, the Constitutional Convention, as well as our class, had to occasionally go against their own beliefs and agree to benefit the entire group, this was the only way true progress and decisions were made. In the Constitutional Convention there were many overarching issues that required compromised, the two biggest were highlighted in our presentation: fair representation of states and slavery. There was the conflict that small states didn’t have enough population, so they lost in a popular vote and the big states didn’t have enough representatives in comparison to the little states, when voting by representatives occurred, so they created the electoral college which combined both ideas. Also the issue of slavery and the conflict of if all men are created equal, so the 3/5s compromise was created to benefit both sides. The founding of our government and the nature of our democracy was highly centered around what happened in this conference and the compromises that were made. Our democracy tries to satisfy all parties by compromising our ideas.

Since this project was a large scale group project, collaboration between 16 students was a very important aspect in the success of the final product. I have never worked in such a large group in anything other than sports teams and the collaboration here worked very well in almost some of the same ways. We all had to work towards a common goal, which in this case was the final project, and to get everyone involved they had to like the idea and be interested. Our final product was a video as well as an interactive piece which we presented to the 7th graders. We came up with this idea in a discussion so all of us were on board and then we split up the project and made smaller groups with more focused duties, this worked very well because it was much more efficient with a smaller group of people. Then the final idea was shared and other opinions could be brought to the table. One of the biggest challenges we ran into was all of the ideas brought to the table when we met together, we had so many opinions and no real format of sharing. To address this, a leader took charge and organized our meetings and kept us on focus. This really worked, because we came up with ideas and got to execute them with our small groups and the leader looked over all of the groups and made sure they all worked towards the common goal.

I learned a lot about myself in this project, mainly about how I worked with others and what roles I wanted to complete, and what I did after my work was finished. I carried a wide variety of responsibilities: my main task was to create the animations for the video which turned out really well and I think it was a creative way to convey information. I think I chose to complete this because of the focused nature and I seem to work fairly well with computers. I also took on talking to the interactive group and I think I took interest in this as well because I love lessons in class with an interactive piece with truly hands on learning and I wanted to give this experience to the 7th graders as well. I was quite effective and did complete all of the tasks my group assigned to me. Also once I was done with the animations in the video (my main responsibility) I asked what was needed of me next. I took time to talk with other groups and share input as well as help with filming and gathering props, so I didn’t only do my duty but asked if any other areas needed help and was a large part of other decisions. I realized that I like to take on a chunk of work for myself and really perfect it and then get opinions from a few others. Once I finish my duty, I dive straight into what other people need and put myself 100% into that as well. I really like to keep in mind the final product while working so I can also work with other groups. I consider myself somewhat of a leader in group projects because I do a main piece and look over other peoples work also and really discuss with them my opinions and concerns, but I can also take instructions and finish my own duty. Although we ran into a few troubles, we worked together very well in the given time constraints and even surprised ourselves with the effectiveness of our class as a whole and how much we enjoyed presenting our final product.

I think we took care of this project very well and once we got our ideas down and split up into groups we were very effective. I think I would do most of the same things if I was faced with this project again, but the hardest part was definitely the time constraints and it took time to come up with ideas everyone was interested in. I think I would have liked to decide on a plan much sooner, but our ideas with leaders and dividing and conquering really worked well. Overall, time was our biggest enemy with so many people and ideas but once we agreed on one and combined the ideas of video and interactive, and had something we were all enthusiastic about, it worked very nicely.

One skill that I think I really demonstrated in this project was the ability to contribute ideas in a group setting and combining the ideas of others to make a compromise so that all were satisfied. One of the biggest examples of this was when we were debating to show a video or go a live presentation, I suggested the idea to do both so that we could split up into groups depending on what people were most passionate about. I also talked with multiple groups so my communication skills were seen there as well and I could tie all the ideas of groups together. Overall I think I was able to follow my own tasks as well as come up with ideas and talk with others about the final product.

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