August 11-12, 2015
Location: Trustee Room, Alumni Hall
Conversation and interpersonal engagement are hallmarks of liberal arts pedagogy. The unanimous vote of the faculty in favor of additional training in pedagogies of dialogue for all faculty speaks to a broad consensus that these hallmarks cannot be taken for granted. There is much work to be done to renew and refresh them. This workshop is the realization of that consensus. It joins our ongoing efforts to examine the 21st century classroom, particularly with the aim of creating inclusive spaces in which students of diverse backgrounds can thrive and succeed. We begin from the assumption that critical examination of what we do in the classroom demands a critical examination of not only the assumptions we bring to course design and daily classroom preparation, but also the assumptions we bring to all conversations and interactions.
This workshop will explore Intergroup Dialogue pedagogy as a method to create classroom and campus environments that are inclusive of students of marginalized social identities, and that facilitate the learning of students of differing identities.
Specifically, there will be attention to:
a. The mode of communication called "dialogue," including applied practice in employing this mode of communication among ourselves and with our students
b. Exploration of participants' own social identities as a way of building empathy with students, and of seeing how our own unconscious socialization and assumptions may block or may facilitate our attempts to communicate with students unlike ourselves
c. Planning specific next steps in the continuing process of creating inclusive learning environments
In addition, participants will be invited, if they wish, to discuss general skills regarding constructive ways to communicate about difficult issues, especially during times of campus conflict.