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ERIC Number: EJ791605
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1086-4822
Learning through Crisis: The Educator's Role
Patton, Lori D.
About Campus, v12 n6 p10-16 Jan-Feb 2008
One of the most pressing challenges when facilitating a conversation on human crises is the normalizing push to move forward and avoid living in the past. Unfortunately, when conversations about human crises are ignored or rushed through, the learning process is stunted. Students lose a valuable opportunity to develop empathy and cultural competence. They also miss out on moments that would otherwise provide a platform for making abstract concepts such as power and privilege more concrete and less invisible. Furthermore, students lose the chance to uncover deeply embedded assumptions and values that guide how they view themselves and others. Educators are responsible for maintaining a conversation that validates the relevance of these events and legitimizes the critical questions that students may ask when exploring them. Students should be challenged to examine and learn from these crises despite the tendency to relegate the past to the margins, "get over it," and avoid dealing with emotions. Helping students grapple with emotions such as fear, frustration, anxiety, confusion, and anger can lead to transformative conversations that push them to their intellectual, moral, and emotional capacity. The exploration of these emotions can also lead students to open their hearts and minds toward imagining creative solutions to human crises. The educator's challenge is to help students move beyond merely knowing the facts of a crisis and toward an understanding that the value in discussing the event is in what they are learning, in understanding how individuals behave during crisis, and in being able to reflect on what they are learning. Strategies for transforming human crises into teachable moments are discussed. (Contains 9 notes.)
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Louisiana