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New Working Group on Classroom Dialogue: Applications Open for Faculty-Grad Student Pairs

As part of the University’s upcoming Freedom of Expression series, the Teaching Engagement Program in partnership with the Graduate School and UO’s award-winning interactive theater troupe Rehearsals for Life will form a small teaching development cohort dedicated to classroom dialogue, seeking synthesis between openness and rigor, inclusion and respectfulness.

Research links core goals of a university education—developing a disposition toward complex thinking, problem-solving skills, even civic mindedness—to students’ meaningful interactions with diverse peer groups that challenge their preconceptions. But for faculty and GEs teaching in a volatile and divisive national context, it can feel risky to ask socially urgent questions and to initiate dialogue that may destabilize students’ assumptions.

We seek applications from faculty-graduate student teacher pairs, enriching the possibilities for lasting mentorship relationships and giving participants a partner to share materials back with departmental colleagues. (Members of a pair needn’t have done any prior work together or be part of a teaching team; graduate students should have some teaching experience and expect further teaching at UO). We anticipate a 2018 cohort of 16 members, representing eight departments, that will:

  • Develop proactive strategies and tools for cultivating inclusive classrooms with an emphasis on building students’ reflective, critical, and constructive thinking across contexts;
  • Develop responsive strategies and tools for facilitating challenging or heated moments in the classroom with an emphasis on balancing development of students’ listening skills with strengthening of their agency, voice, and resilience;
  • Create professional development materials for sharing and promoting the above strategies and tools to home departments and programs, and through an open-invitation teaching workshop in spring term.

To incentivize participation and signal the importance of this working group, each participant of will receive $300 (professional development funds for faculty and stipends for students).

Applications due Monday, January 22. Brief online application form is here.

Group workshops will be 1:00-3:00pm on these Fridays: February 16, March 2, and March 16. Refreshments will be served.

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