Teaching Contentious Issues

The university classroom is a space where students and teachers critically and analytically engage with the most pressing issues of our time. In this space that brings together diverse groups of teachers and learners, it is important to consider the possibilities and limitations of teaching contentious socio-political issues. The resources below provide some advice on how to best engage with contemporary, contentious issues in the college classroom, in ways that are mindful of the learners’ different backgrounds.  

The Graduate School also offers a course, “College Teaching, Diverse Learners and Contentious Issues,” taught for the first time in the 2016 spring semester by Dr. Francisco Ramos and offered every semester thereafter, in which students will produce a diversity statement as their final assignment.

The Diversity Statement

Increasingly, advertisements for faculty positions request a “diversity statement.” Since this is a relatively new element of the academic job market, a consensus has not been established yet as to what such a diversity statement should include. Below we provide you with some helpful resources to help you articulate how diversity factors into your classroom practices.