Goal: Compare and contrast students' individual accounts of the classroom culture.
Time: 30 minutes
1. Ask students to take ten minutes to write individual accounts of the classroom culture.
2. Put them into small groups to share their accounts. Most likely there will be some aspects of the accounts that are very different and some that are very similar.
3. Have the groups share their accounts with the rest of the class.
4. Ask the class to determine which one is the “correct” or “most accurate” account. As you discuss the fact that there is no such thing as one “correct” account, you can mention the kinds of factors (e.g., gender, race, age, background, prior experience) that influence the way we view culture. How might these influential factors also affect the role of participant observer within another organization? Relate this to methods of ethnographic research in which many stories may be needed to avoid the bias of one narrator.