Teaching Commons > Events > Fall Forum on Teaching & Learning > Teaching in Today's Political Climate (2018)

Teaching in Today's Political Climate (2018)

Fall Forum Graphic

Friday, October 19, 2018 | Lincoln Park Student Center Room 120 AB

#FFTL2018 | go.depaul.edu/fftl2018

This year’s Fall Forum on Teaching and Learning addressed the complexity and challenges of teaching in a time of increasing political polarization. Based on feedback from previous attendees, this year’s forum followed an “Unconference” format, which gave participants a central role in shaping the day’s events and outcomes. As part of this participant-focused approach, attendees  established discussion topics and engaged in roundtable conversations to identify ways of establishing inclusive, accessible learning environments. 

Example agenda from an unconference
An example of an unconference agenda. Photo credit: JD Lasica | CC BY 2.0

Example discussion questions included:  

  • How do we create classroom expectations that align with the current level of students’ emotional and intellectual development? 
  • How does our teaching reflect an understanding of social identity development and help us anticipate tensions that may arise? 
  • How can we integrate inclusive teaching practices in courses where questions of student identity, background, and values may seem irrelevant at first glance?

An essential goal of this Fall Forum was to gather as a community to identify ways in which we can address these challenges through our teaching. As educators within the DePaul community, we are called to promote the intentional dialogue and learning that can help us and our students navigate our highly polarized world.  By sharing our experiences and insights, we can improve our efforts to bring awareness to social inequality on campus, develop strategies to ensure successful experiences in racially and socially diverse classrooms, and help each other establish a sense of belonging on campus for all students.


Slides from Lightning Rounds

Participants' takeaways

Photos & Video

Unconference Overview 

The Fall Forum will begin with a 45-minute “lightning round” that includes a series of 6-minute presentations followed by roundtable discussions in which attendees will be able to expand on the topics introduced by the presenters. After lunch, attendees will identify additional topics for further discussion and self-organize into groups to share teaching challenges and identify solutions. The unconference will conclude with participants sharing key takeaways from each roundtable discussion with the larger group. 


9:30 - 10:00 am Registration and Light Breakfast
10:00 - 10:20 am Welcoming Remarks
10:20 - 10:45 am Overview of Day and Expectation Setting
10:45 - 11:30 am Lighting Rounds
11:30 am - 12:15 pm Round Table Discussions 1
12:15 - 12:30 pm Presenter Sign Up for Afternoon Round Table Discussions
12:30 - 1:15 pm Catered Lunch
1:15 - 1:30 pm Afternoon Announcements
1:30 - 2:15 pm Round Table Discussions 2
2:15 - 2:45 pm Sharing Our Takeaways
2:45 - 3:00 pm Closing Remarks