Controversial Topics in Contentious Times: Teaching the Humanities & Social Sciences at Georgia Tech

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As faculty members in the Ivan Allen College, we frequently address topics in the classroom that are controversial and even contentious.  While students can benefit from engaging in controversial topics there are also many risks and potential pitfalls in these pedagogical situations.  While so much of our research and teaching involves engaging with difficult questions and topics, we don’t always have opportunities to discuss these experiences and how to manage them. This roundtable workshop is designed to open up dialogues about teaching controversial topics in our current moment. It will include opportunities for all faculty -- junior and senior -- to share ideas about teaching such controversial topics as race, climate change, sexuality, red and blue politics, etc.

During this event we will focus on the following:

  • designing a course that engages students on controversial topics
  • managing classroom discussions on controversial topics
  • what to do when an unexpected controversy comes up

The program will include an opening welcome and introduction of speakers by Carla Gerona (HSOC), Gordon Kingsley (Public Policy), and Narin Hassan (LMC).  Dean Jackie Royster will provide closing remarks and there will be time for discussion and Q&A.

Roundtable participants include:

  • Dan Amsterdam (HSOC)
  • Laura Bier (HSOC)
  • Aaron Levine (Public Policy)
  • Hallie Liebermann (LMC)
  • Anna Stenport (ML)

This workshop is designed as an opportunity for faculty to network with colleagues from across the Ivan Allen College, and is hosted by the IAC Provost Teaching and Learning Fellows, who work in partnership with the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Please follow this link to register for this event


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    Amy D'Unger
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