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Fostering Classroom Civility

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

2:20 PM - 3:35 PM

Center for Teaching Excellence
Thomas Cooper Library, Room L511


College classrooms are intended to be places where students learn to engage in reasoned discussion about complex issues and learn from others' perspectives. In fact, research has demonstrated that engagement with controversial topics can enhance students' learning and critical reasoning skills. Many faculty members are reluctant, however, to include discussions of controversial topics in their courses because of the challenges that can arise if disagreements become emotionally charged.

Join facilitator Nicole Fisk for an interactive session that explores strategies for fostering productive classroom discussions. Topics will include identifying course content that may provoke controversy, setting discussion guidelines, introducing sensitive topics and establishing a civil, inclusive classroom environment in which issues are discussed respectfully. The session will end with an open question-and-answer session and a discussion of issues that have arisen in attendees' own teaching.



Nicole Fisk
Associate Director of First-Year English
English Department

Nicole Fisk has worked as Associate Director of First-Year English since graduating with her Ph.D in 2007. She specialized in 19th-century British Literature and has published on the Brontës and their relationship to women novelists of the 18th century. She has a particular fondness, though, for teaching freshmen the critical thinking, reading and writing skills they'll need to be successful in college and beyond. For the past few years, Nicole has taught themed courses for the Capstone Scholars Program that analyze pop culture series, like The Hunger Games, as a cultural phenomenon. She also helps mentor the many graduate teaching assistants and instructors who teach for the FYE Program. 



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