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December 13, 2010

Applications due Jan. 10 for new Diversity Pedagogy Seminar

A seminar on diversity pedagogies is being sponsored by the Center for Curriculum Transformation, the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Simpson Center for the Humanities in winter and spring 2011. The deadline for a letter of interest to participate in the series is Jan. 10, 2011.

Departments across the University offer courses that provide opportunities to broaden and deepen student understanding of the varied histories, societies, political structures, literatures, arts, and cultures of the U.S. and the world. The intent of the seminar series is to convene faculty, graduate students, and others with interest and expertise in diversity pedagogies to review current research and discuss the questions and issues that arise.

“Instructors teaching such courses often encounter serious challenges when attempting to engage students in the critical analysis of race, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, class, nation, and religion,” said Betty Schmitz, director of the Center for Curriculum Transformation. “They report difficult classroom interactions around diversity that render the learning environment challenging for everyone. As a result, there is a need to understand these dynamics and develop new teaching resources to address diversity in course content and classroom pedagogy.”

Schmitz developed the seminar series in collaboration with Miriam Bartha, associate director of the Simpson Center and Beth Kalikoff, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. According to their plan, recent research on diversity pedagogies and classroom experiences of participants will be reviewed in winter quarter as a way of defining problems and developing solutions.  Speakers with research or projects related to diversity in the classroom will give presentations to help the group find a direction forward.  The group will decide the format for spring quarter.

The three leaders hope the seminar might generate:

  • a full proposal to the Simpson Center for a project to create a community of faculty and graduate students who are integrating and advancing diversity scholarship, teaching, and engagement;
  • a leadership cohort that can continue to promote curricular and institutional change supportive of diversity; and
  • new teaching and training materials (pedagogies, curricula, best practices) that can address serious and common classroom challenges in teaching about social difference and inequality.

Four sessions are planned for winter quarter:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 19, 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m., defining the issues; discussion of current research
  • Wednesday, Feb. 2, 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m., speaker, Ratnesh Nagda, School of Social Work
  • Tuesday, Feb. 22, 11:30 am -1:30 pm, speaker, Shirley Hune, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
  • Tuesday, March 8, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. speaker(s) TBD

Those interested in participating should send a statement of interest (1-2 pages) that indicates reasons for applying, current projects, relevant teaching and research or engagement experience to Betty Schmitz, schmitz@uw.edu.  They should indicate if there are any scheduled sessions for which they have conflicts and cannot attend.

Those accepted will be named 2011 Diversity Pedagogy Research Fellows and will be expected to make a commitment to the seminar as a whole.  As space allows, the seminar will allow outside attendance at specific sessions.  For further information, contact Schmitz.