Teaching Difference, and Power Symposium: Class Matters
Among the greatest challenges facing higher education is that of creating diverse and democratic campus cultures that seek to confront, rather than replicate, social inequalities. One of the most challenging inequalities to confront is that of social class, since it shapes all of our lives in profound and often uncomfortable ways. Class touches every aspect of campus life – its history, its social life, and especially its teaching and learning.
“Coming to Vanderbilt was a culture shock”
-Harry Lopez, ’12
“We had no idea what was waiting for us on the other end,”
-Shirley M. Collado, ’94, and member of the Vanderbilt Board of Trust
“Nobody else in my family had attended college, much less studied astrophysics…. Now I study black holes for a living, and am so lucky and happy to finally be here, but I do also feel like an imposter.”
-Kelley Holley-Bockelmann, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy
This year, the Center for Teaching hosted a learning community of faculty and graduate students focused on social class, particularly the challenges faced by lower income and first generation students in the classroom, and class-conscious methods of teaching.
On April 25th, join the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching for an end-of-year symposium in which we’ll share the year’s work done at the CFT. We will also invite all members of the Vanderbilt community to discuss steps we can take together to develop a more inclusive, equitable, and critical environment for teaching and learning.
Date: Tuesday, April 25th
Location: The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons Multipurpose Room (237)
2:00-2:35 Introduction & Context
Welcome & Introductions
Assistant Director, Vanderbilt Center for Teaching
Dr. Sharon Shields, Professor of the Practice in the Department of Human & Organizational Development, and Associate Dean for Professional Education, has nearly forty years of experience at Vanderbilt and has long been an astute observer of dynamics of social class on campus. Drawing on her extensive experience with undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty in a variety of roles, Dr. Shields will discuss lower income students’ feelings of invisibility and discrimination in the classroom, perceptions of student life, and ideas about what the university administration can do to support and empower lower income students at Vanderbilt.
2:35-3:20 Campus Conversations
Faculty, students, and staff across campus are engaged in a variety of discussions and activities exploring the intersections of teaching, difference, and power. During this panel discussion representatives from student groups and academic programs will share some of the ways they have been working to foster important conversations on difference and power at Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt Psychological & Counseling Center (PCC)
MD, Director of the PCC
Vanderbilt Dean of Students
Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center
Associate Professor of History
3:20-4:05 What’s Next?
Following the panel discussion, the CFT invites the campus community to discuss steps we can take together to develop a more inclusive, equitable, and critical environment for teaching and learning.
Additional resources on the topic
- CFT blog posts on teaching, difference, and power
- Graduate student learning community on the topic
- Vanderbilt University Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education Program
- Insights from Learning Community Participants
- Social Belonging in STEM: Discussion of a Study by Gregory Walton and Geoffrey Cohen
- An Interview with Dr. Alice Pawley
- Avoiding Spotlighting and Starting to Leverage Classroom Diversity (Part 1)
- Avoiding Spotlighting and Starting to Leverage Classroom Diversity (Part 2)
- Dramatization of Physics TA’s First Day of Class
- Keeping Stress from Evolving into Distress: A Guide on Managing Student Stress through Course Design
- Teaching guide on Increasing Inclusivity in the Classroom
- Teaching guide on Teaching Students with Disabilities
- Mindfulness in the Classroom
- Service Learning & Community Engagement
- Teaching guide on Feminist Pedagogy