In a 2009 article published in Counseling Psychologist, Sue et al present findings from their study of how White faculty members perceive and react to difficult classroom dialogues about race. It includes suggestions for effective teaching strategies
The authors report that difficult racial dialogues can include intense emotions such as anxiety on the part of both students and instructors, and interfere with the faculty member’s ability to facilitate learning experiences They discuss fear as the obstacle to effective dialogue, related to revealing personal bias, losing classroom control, not understanding or recognizing the dynamics of such conversations, and being ill-equipped to handle difficult classroom situations. Suggested strategies include acknowledging emotions, self-disclosing, actively engaging, and creating safe space.
What do you think of the article? Have you ever experienced difficult dialogue in the classroom? Would you be willing to implement any of the strategies suggested by the authors? Let us know your thoughts!
Sue, D. W., Torino, G. C., Capodilupo, C. M., Rivera, D. P., & Lin, A. I. (2009). How White faculty perceive and react to difficult dialogues on race: Implications for Education and Training. Counseling Psychologist, 37(8), 1090-1115. doi: 10.1177/00110000099340443 (Available online at http://tcp.sagepub.com/content/37/8/1090)