In October 2015, CRLT hosted a U-M faculty panel that addressed challenges and strategies for teaching about difference and privilege. In this post, we spotlight some key moments when faculty described tensions or difficulties, and we suggest strategies for leveraging these for student learning.
The panel featured four LSA faculty members:
(Click on a panelist name to see a video of their talk, or see the embedded videos at the end of this post. Each video runs 8-9 minutes.)
"Several years ago, I was teaching a class on social identity and we were talking about whiteness. Actually, we weren't talking about whiteness. That was the problem." (Al Young)
What happens when discussions about race and privilege turn silent? Faced with the dynamic described above, Young asked students to turn their lens to analyzing the silence they were experiencing by writing a minute paper on the stalled conversation: "What's the problem right now with the conversation on white identity?" After writing for 3-5 minutes, he finds students are more likely to voice their thoughts out loud. For silent or superficial discussions, Helen Fox (2009) also recommends having students write on an index card, "One thing I've been reluctant to say....," which serves as a prompt for follow-up discussion.
“We’re teaching about privilege because privilege is pervasive but knowledge about it is not….Your students, they don’t come in getting it.” (Ruby Tapia) Read more »