Rickie-Ann Legleitner, WGSC member and UW-Stout Professor in the English department, adviser to the Women and Gender Sexuality Studies program, and inclusive excellence action plan coordinator, wrote a chapter called “Facilitating Difficult Discussions: Politics and Free Speech in the Classroom” in a book published last year.
In the book titled “Civil Liberties in Real Life: Seven Studies,” Professor Legleitner “offers a series of guidelines for keeping students engaged, open-minded and motivated even when subjects could be divisive or uncomfortable and emotionally charged.” She collaborates with students to come up with a list of guidelines to guide their classroom discussions, which students can refer to as they move through the semester.
Students are encouraged to listen to each other, rather than concentrate on what they want to say next and open themselves to learning from each other. There is also an emphasis on fact and lived experiences as well, Legleitner said. “In a classroom, if you are going to have a productive conversation, you have to listen. If you go in screaming you will not change people’s opinions, only their opinion of you.”
Read more in this piece by UW-Stout.