Teaching controversial topics in the classroom maximizing benefits and minimizing risks
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Teaching Controversial Topics in the Classroom:  Maximizing Benefits and Minimizing Risks. Janine Duncan, PhD, co-presenter Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Fontbonne University April 14, 2014. Concerns for Examining Issues. Personal Opinion Anti-Intellectual Environment

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Teaching Controversial Topics in the Classroom:  Maximizing Benefits and Minimizing Risks

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Teaching controversial topics in the classroom maximizing benefits and minimizing risks

Teaching Controversial Topics in the Classroom:  Maximizing Benefits and Minimizing Risks

Janine Duncan, PhD, co-presenter

Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Fontbonne University

April 14, 2014


Concerns for examining issues

Concerns for Examining Issues

  • Personal Opinion

  • Anti-Intellectual Environment

  • Fear

  • Parker Palmer

    • Promote others’ identity

    • Seek, promote harmony

    • Chaos leads to creativity

    • Emergence of new life, ideas

PC


What it means to be educated

What it Means to be Educated?

Be Changed.


Becoming an educated person

Becoming an Educated Person**

We need to be open to those who are not like us.

We need to think about the culture in which we live.

We need to use new ideas to understand and communicate . . . as we move to new times and places.

We need to listen to those outside our community to hear . . . their perspectives.

We need to exercise reason.

**(Based on principles of Catholic Intellectual Tradition)


Creating an environment of rapport

The World Café: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter

Brown, J. &Issacs, D. (2005)

Creating an Environment of Rapport


Sue james 2014 ai consulting

The 4 Ds—A Communication Process: Appreciative Inquiry (AI)

Sue James (2014), AI Consulting

AI is a process that allows individuals to focus on positive, life-giving conversations rather than focusing on the negative.


Ai applied to family consumer sciences

Define Topic

Discover New ideas

Dream what might be

Design

Deliver

Define the situation

Discover the different meanings

Offer possibilities

Inform our own practice

Transform us

AI Applied to Family & Consumer Sciences


Creating an environment of inquiry

Creating an Environment of Inquiry

Critical Science Perspectives

  • A Philosophical Framework for Social Critique

    • Offers “lenses” that promote questions surrounding

      • The Common Good

      • Democratic Practices

      • Emancipative Action/Praxis

  • In Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS)

    • Introduced by Marjorie Brown (1985)


Creating an environment of inquiry important fcs perspectives

Creating an Environment of Inquiry:Important FCS Perspectives

  • Perennial Problems and Evolving Problems

  • Practical Reasoning Skills—

    • examine the values, means, and consequences for addressing human problems through various perspectives

    • Relies on the learned ability to pose questions:

      • not simply to identify the facts of the matter,

      • uncover the potential for “false consciousness,”

        • revealing contradictory perspectives

        • how misconceptions are socially perpetuated

        • “offer an alternative interpretation” plausible to learners.


Creating an environment of inquiry1

Creating an Environment of Inquiry


Teaching controversial topics in the classroom maximizing benefits and minimizing risks

Case Study Use in Education Wasserman, S. (2004). This Teaching Life, p. 125-143, New York: Teachers College Press

  • Teachers must:

  • demonstrate an appreciation for individual frames/perspectives

  • Need to be comfortable with uncertainty

  • Teach students how to:

    • Communicate effectively

    • Critically examine issues

    • Make informed decisions

    • Respect different views, attitudes, beliefs

  • Case study questions:

    • Data gathering

    • Analysis questions

    • Values identification

    • Evaluative judgments

    • Calls for plans of actions


Everything is controversial

Remember:

The world was once understood to be flat, not round.

Everything is Controversial!


Duncan s summary

Duncan’s Summary

  • Develop a culture of rapport and respect

  • Develop an intellectual environment founded on

    • Disciplinary philosophy and theories

    • Principles of effective dialogue

    • Principles of CST and CIT

  • Trust yourself

    • Develop comfort with uncertainty

    • Redirect students toward data (exercise reasoning skills)

    • Redirect students toward intellectual purposes of university

    • Remind students of classroom culture


Thank you for listening

Thank you for listening—

Questions/comments?


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