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Ep. 015: Hot Moments

You might experience more hot moments—times when passionate class discussion flares into something ugly and undesirable—thanks to the political and social earthquake centered on the 2016 election. We build upon our last episode and explore more ways to structure your class so students feel safe when talking about controversial issues. CTLT’s Dana Karraker highlights strategies for dealing with hurtful speech when unexpected hot moments occur: what to say, how to move forward, and why doing something is almost always better than not reacting at all.

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Show Notes


Adams, M., & Bell, L. A. (Eds.). (2016). Teaching for diversity and social justice (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge.

Landis, K. (Ed.). (2008). Start talking: A handbook for engaging in difficult dialogues in higher education. Anchorage, AK: University of Alaska Anchorage: Alaska Pacific University. Retrieved from

Michaels, S., O’Connor, M. C., Hall, M. W., & Resnick, L. B. (2010). Accountable Talk® sourcebook: For classroom conversation that works. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Institute for Learning. Retrieved from

Souza, T. J. (2016). Managing hot moments in the classroom: Concrete strategies for cooling down tension. In M. Bart (Ed.), Faculty Focus: Special Report - Diversity and Inclusion in the College Classroom (pp. 4–5). Retrieved from

Warren, L. (2006). Navigating difficult moments in the classroom. Cambridge, MA: Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning. Retrieved from

You can also find classroom activities related to respectful discussion in CTLT’s Little Ideas For Teaching (LIFT) resource page.

Illinois State’s Student Counseling Services can help students deal with a variety of issues, including anxiety over recent events.

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2019-02-20T16:12:04.359-06:00 2019