Teaching Sensitive Material in Turbulent Times

Faculty Teaching Conversation: Teaching Sensitive Material in Turbulent Times
October 20, 2016 / 12:00-1:20 pm

Summary of tips shared by participants:

  • when conflict arises, be a “clarifying presence”
  • work to establish trust and rapport early in the semester
  • if necessary, provide “content advisories” on your syllabus
  • at the beginning of the term, preview the readings on your syllabus and provide alternate readings/assignments when possible
  • invite students to tell you about possible trigger warnings
  • show your own openness to learning more about issues you are not familiar with
  • establish common ground/ground rules for discussion
  • start with “Just the Facts”: before editorializing, establish a portrait of the subject
  • encourage students to use other language for key ideas (e.g., don’t say “stereotype,” don’t say “interesting”)