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Southwestern Professors Effectively Handle Conflict In the Classroom

An article in today’s New York Times, “In a Volatile Climate on Campus, Professors Teach on Tenterhooks,” discusses the politically charged climate on college campuses and specific ways faculty prepare for and handle conflict in the classroom.

It highlights Dr. Shannon Mariotti, Southwestern Professor of Political Science, and her strategies “to develop compassion and empathy” among students in her classes. Dr. Mariotti starts her classes with silent meditation and incorporates the book, “Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life” to encourage students to handle conflict and opposing views with respect and compassion.


The article also points out that conflict and hot-button issues on college campuses are not exclusive to political science courses. It quotes Scott McLean, Professor of Kinesiology at Southwestern, and his mindful attention to presenting both sides of a potentially dividing issue. He prepares for potential conflict and how to handle heated discussions in his kinesiology classes.
 
Today’s college environments offer a diverse environment across many areas: political, economic, race, religion, gender, sexuality and more. That’s a wonderful thing. But it’s increasingly important for faculty to prepare for and discuss ways to handle tension and conflict within their classrooms. 

Click here to read the full New York Times article.

For more information contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at 512-863-1771 or sucommunications@southwestern.edu.