15:00 - 16:30
Controversial Topics in the Classroom:
(How) Do We Dare Discuss Them?
No matter what the discipline, most faculty will be faced with teaching a controversial topic -- one that some students may find threatening. Faculty may choose to teach a potentially offensive topic because it is fundamental to the course content or to help students develop skills such as critical thinking and the ability to articulate a position. How can such controversial topics be taught with integrity and sensitivity? In this workshop, we will examine various pedagogical approaches to create a student-centered classroom that will defuse hostility, create an atmosphere of tolerance, and engage students who may feel threatened by the course material. Participants will have opportunity to consider how they might apply these principles and approaches in their own teaching.