Year of Conversation Workshops / Registration

Year of Conversation Workshops

Title Description

Conversations on Teaching with Integrity 

  • 10/26
  • 11/02
  • 11/09
  • 11/16
  • Are you interested in reading and having discussions about teaching?  Join our reading group! This semester we will explore ideas and themes raised in Parker Palmer’s The Courage to Teach.   The first session will include community building activities and pre-reading questions to explore our own ideas about effective teaching.  Also, a copy of The Courage to Teach will be distributed in session one. Subsequent sessions will focus on embracing diversity in the classroom, the importance of community building among teachers, and moving from a place of fear to dialogue within our community.  Guest speaker Jamal Cooks (professor, Secondary Education) will share his research on the culture of fear in session three.

Contributing to LGBTQ+ inclusivity: Hard conversations in the classroom

  • 10/18
  • 11/01
  • 11/15
  • 12/06
  • LGBTQ+ people are increasingly under fire, again, as targets of conservative law-making and targets of hate crimes. The wave of right wing extremism extends to college campuses, necessitating consideration about how to handle conflicts in the classroom and beyond. The College of Health and Social Sciences LGBTQ+ Institute Advisory Committee, created in 2016, will lead this discussion. The Institute collected data from students in spring of 2017, and will gather data from faculty and staff in the fall of 2017 about campus climate and curricular issues. That data will serve as the foundation of the work, supplemented with readings and guided exercises and discussions.

How to have  “Difficult Dialogue” in a World of Conflict 

  • 11/02
  • 11/09
  • 11/16
  • 11/30

Breathing In, Speaking Up: Contemplative Practices and Social Justice

  • 11/6
  • 11/13
  • 11/29
  • 12/13
  • Contemplative practices play an increasingly important role in higher education curricula and programs. Our goal is to host a series of workshops during academic year 2017-18 to explore the association between social justice and contemplative practices and their potential to benefit campus climate and student success. To this end we will convene a multidisciplinary group of scholars and staff from across the SF State campus. Guest speakers and selected readings will provide a background for group discussion and practice. Topics will include contemplative practice pedagogy (content and skills in mindfulness meditation, deep listening, compassion training); holistic education, an educational philosophy that emphasizes experiential learning, mutually supportive relationships, appreciation of the natural world, and promotion of humanitarian values; experiential contemplative-based practices for classroom use for student and faculty success; and mixed quantitative and qualitative measures for evaluating these practices in the classroom.

To be safe or brave in this brave new world? 

  • 10/31
  • 11/14
  • 12/05
  • The landscapes of the classroom and university are changing. Trigger warnings and “safe spaces” have been the subject of scathing critiques.1 Some scholars and teachers have proposed replacing the “safe space” model of fostering classroom community with “brave spaces,” where “courageous conversations” are prioritized over comfort or safety.2 Others have said this “brave” model creates a space for privileged folks to learn, while simultaneously creating “a miserable space for the marginalized people forced to do that labor of education.” Simultaneously, we are facing, nearly daily, events in the world that challenge our notions of fairness, equality, and freedom. In response to this changing landscape, we propose a monthly lunch series, initially involving three directed conversations with faculty from across campus for the fall semester, but designed to extend across the academic year. Each conversation will provide faculty with an opportunity to explore how we can most successfully and bravely teach and practice social justice in a changing world. 

Gaining Access and Insight Through Reading and Discussing the Memoir 

  • 10/19
  • 11/02
  • 11/16
  • 12/07
  • Inspired after reading Roxane Gay’s 2017 memoir, Hunger: A Memoir of Body, we propose a reading group focused on current memoirs that dive deeply into difficult and highly personal territory. Our hunch is that reading Hunger and other unflinchingly investigated and articulated personal stories makes us more empathetic toward ourselves, our peers and our students, therefore making us more capable of handling conflict. In our first meeting, we would discuss Gay’s book, and agree on a reading list for future meetings. Some possible titles include: A Body Undone, by Christina Crosby, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, by Sherman Alexie, At Home in the World: Stories and Essential Teachings from a Monk’s Life by Thich Nhat Hanh, and Judith Butler’s Giving an Account of Oneself for theoretical framework. 

Registration links

YEAR OF CONVERSATION: Contributing LGBTQ+ inclusivity: Hard conversations in the classroom

YEAR OF CONVERSATION: Social Justice and Contemplative Practices Workshop

YEAR OF CONVERSATION: How to have a Difficult Dialogue in a World of Conflict

YEAR OF CONVERSATION: Gaining Access and Insight Through Reading and Discussing the Memoir

YEAR OF CONVERSATION: To be safe or brave in this brave new world?

YEAR OF CONVERSATION: Conversations on Teaching with Integrity