Tackling tough social issues is often a minefield in which few instructors wish to tread … and for good reason. From political polarization to the isolation of the global pandemic, a multitude of forces are shaping, and sometimes stifling, our ability to have deep, important conversations in our classes. But it can be done and done successfully.
For this episode of Let’s Talk Teaching, we’re joined by Dr. Joseph Zompetti from the School of Communication, who shares ideas about how to structure classroom conversations, face-to-face or virtually, to navigate through divisive discourses. Zompetti and Jim Gee examine some basic ground rules that can help students engage with controversial ideas and provide a sense of camaraderie with the mutual goal of sharing different perspectives. They explore the idea of classrooms as simulation spaces, where it’s OK to examine the real world without succumbing to the weight of real-world ideology. Zompetti also shares how he transformed his course on political rhetoric through two divisive presidential elections and what teaching practices he’s embraced during the shift to fully online instruction.
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About the show
Let’s Talk Teaching is a free podcast for instructors at Illinois State University, produced by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. You can listen to past episodes and subscribe using your favorite podcast app or through iTunes by going to CTLT.IllinoisState.edu/Podcast.
A captioned version of the podcast series is available through the listening help page.