MCRC@ADVIS DEI Conference: 10/11/19
When Neutrality is not Enough: Managing Heated Diversity Discussions in the Classroom
Intermediate: Assumes some familiarity with or exposure to core content
Building Capacity: Skills, Competencies, & Processes for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Session repeats - Round 1 & 2
Teresa Nance, Associate Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, Villanova University
Edward G. Fierros, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion
, Villanova University
Contentious conversations in schools related to issues of equity and inclusion have grown in number and complexity. As educators committed to providing all students an educational experience marked by equity and inclusion, we know that elevating those moments to authentic learning takes skill, a complex understanding of the issues involved and a willingness to go beneath the surface of unstated assumptions and unspoken beliefs. This workshop introduces participants to a technique used in dialogue programs called "Multipartiality". In a dialogue, facilitators recognize the importance of encouraging all students to participate but also realize that the interrogation of any topic must take into account a variety of perspectives, even those not in the conversation at the moment. Creating opportunities for students to engage with perspectives not their own while simultaneously learning and thinking through issues of power, place and justice is the goal of this practice.
Too often issues of diversity, equity and inclusion don't just happen when we want them to happen. Nor do they happen when the resident diversity expert is in the room. If we take seriously the imperative, to transform our schools into places where we can talk about all sides of an issue and remain faithful to our commitment to justice and inclusion, more teachers should develop skill in managing difficult conversations. This session will provide participants with a background to the concept and ways to employ this technique in schools.
Participants in the workshop should be able to: 1) Discern the difference between diversity education, multicultural education and social justice education. If your purpose is not clear, neither will your lesson be. 2) Understand the role of the dominant narrative and 'perfectly logical explanations in limiting conversations and the understanding of diverse perspectives. 3) Define Multipartiality as the way facilitators show students that there are multiple ways to look at issues while encouraging and balancing all viewpoints.
For 40 years,
Dr. Terry Nance
has served as a teacher, scholar, leader, activist and support system for students, faculty and staff at Villanova University. Currently Terry serves as the Associate Vice Provost of diversity and inclusion, and Chief Diversity Officer. She is responsible for leading diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at the university. Terry began her career in the Communication Department that she eventually chaired. Terry also served as the AVP in Multicultural Affairs.
is Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion in the College of Arts and Science and an Associate professor in the Department of Education and Counseling at Villanova University. He completed his doctoral degree in Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation at Boston College. His major research interests are in the placement of minority students with learning disabilities, opportunity to learn, Native American education, and the theory of multiple intelligences. He also is a Fellow, National Education Policy Council and a Consultant, Educational Testing Service.
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