ERIC Number: ED420059
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr-2
Addressing Teachers' Concerns about Diversity in Composition Classrooms.
First-year teaching assistants (TAs) at Arizona State University participate in a fair amount of training--in rhetorical theory, composition theory, teaching theory and practices, the English 101 syllabus, and university policies and services. But one classroom incident which began with a TA resulted in much turmoil on campus. Two examples of materials with hostile and offensive language aimed at persons from underrepresented groups transmitted over the Internet were brought to an English 101 class by a TA because they outraged her. To heighten teachers' awareness of matters of diversity, additional training was offered to all composition teachers. The Intergroup Relations Center (IRC) was established in the summer of 1997. The Composition Program has worked closely with the IRC to raise teachers' awareness of diversity issues and to offer pedagogical strategies for fostering diversity in the classroom. The IRC staff designed an 8-hour series of four workshops for teachers. The workshops focused on: (1) personal and social identities and strategies for encouraging students to respect the diversity of identities that exist in any classroom; (2) academic freedom, free speech, and student conduct; (3) strategies for de-escalating destructive conflict when it inevitably arises in a composition classroom; and (4) specific strategies for generating constructive classroom dialogue when controversial topics are initiated by the teacher or by students. (Appended are seven classroom scenarios for addressing diversity, suggested ground rules for creating dialogue in the classroom, and applications for Rogerian rhetoric.) (CR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A