Center for Faculty Innovation

Talking About Controversial Issues in the Classroom (Workshop)

Thu, 1 Mar 2018 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Location: Student Success Center room 4047

This workshop will also be offered on Fri, 02 Mar 2018, 12:30 PM-2:00 PM in Rose Library.

You may register for either using the linked button above.

Accumulating evidence suggests facilitated dialogue and discussion about controversial public issues can enhance interest and knowledge in politics, build tolerance for divergent views, improve civic efficacy, and raise awareness of the multiple causes and consequences of social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental problems. However, instructors may fear such talk could devolve into unorganized, confrontational, off-topic discussions seemingly emblematic of modern American public discourse.  Participating in class dialogue can also be daunting for students in the midst of developing their own political identities while exploring new and potentially controversial ideas. This workshop will give attention to the challenges classroom instructors face and practices that contribute to civil and educational (and even exciting) classroom talk. Participants will obtain resources and information about continuing development of their facilitation skills. Faculty from all disciplines are encouraged to attend.

Faculty participants will make progress toward creating activities and assignments that can foster civil dialogue on difficult topics in the classroom.

Faculty participants will make progress toward these teaching outcomes:

  • Appreciating pedagogy—the art and science of teaching and learning—as a significant higher education endeavor, and
  • Identifying factors that influence pedagogical choices.


Partner: The Center for Civic Engagement.

If you require non-dietary accommodations to participate in this program, please email the CFI at or call (568-4846) immediately to convey your needs.  We will work with the HR department to provide you with reasonable accommodations, if time permits.

Back to Top