facilitating discussions

The guidelines and suggestions on this page are designed to help instructors facilitate classroom discussion around incidents targeting members of the University community based on their identities or beliefs and other behaviors that expresses hostility, derision or violence.  In the wake of such incidents on campus or in the wider community, instructors may want to plan discussions or be ready to handle unexpected questions.  The following guidelines help address both contexts.

Whatever the context, discussion about such topics will be most effective when it:

  • is structured in a way that defines boundaries for the process, and that brings the discussion to closure within the classroom
  • somehow includes all students in the class
  • extends discourse beyond polarized and polarizing debates
  • acknowledges that facts and interpretations of specific social conflicts may change with time, but tools for conceptual understanding and dialogue will continue to be useful past the current moment

Spontaneous Discussions: Dealing with the Unanticipated

If, during class, a student raises for discussion an issue or incident involving hate or bias, consider the following strategies: Read more »