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Faculty conversation series

New CTAL series tackles contemporary issues that affect student learning

Beginning this month, the University of Delaware’s Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning (CTAL) is offering a new series of faculty conversations to address pressing contemporary issues that affect student learning.

A CTAL representative said that “given the tense national climate, many students and faculty are feeling increased anxiety that can negatively impact their ability to learn in the classroom.” These conversations are designed to allow faculty to discuss current scholarship on challenging classroom issues in a supportive environment with their colleagues.

The first in this new Teaching and Learning Conversations (TLC) series, “Power and the Academy,” will provide an opportunity to discuss potential threats to academic freedom, including the impending cuts in federal funding as well as the relationship between the media, the government, and the rise of “alternative facts.”

A short essay will be circulated to all participants who register that will help to get the conversation started. This TLC will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Register here.

On March 14, the conversation topic is “Muslim Students @UD.” For this session, participants will have a chance to hear the real experiences and challenges facing Muslim undergraduate and graduate students in their own voices.

CTAL is partnering with the graduate and undergraduate branches of the Muslim Student Association to bring faculty the first-hand perspectives of students. The session will feature audio recordings from a focus group of theses students who will speak candidly about the current political situation, issues of stereotyping, microaggressions, and other issues that affect their performance in the classroom.

A selection from Shabana Mir’s book, Muslim American Women on Campus, will be pre-circulated to participants to get the conversation started. Register here.

For the final conversation in the series, “Race, Gender, and Politics in #BLM” on April 18, participants will review and discuss the #BlackLivesMatter syllabus, and consider how this crowdsourced document (and others like it) might be effectively utilized in the classroom.

As with all of TLCs this semester, participants will receive a short essay prior to the session to spark conversation. Register here.

All of these TLCs take place in the Faculty Commons (116 Pearson Hall) from noon-1:30 and lunch is provided. Registration is required.

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