University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

On Teaching seminar to focus on student learning of diversity

An OID seminar titled “Guiding Student Learning on Social-Cultural Diversity without Reinforcing their Stereotypes” is set from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, in the Memorial Union Badlands Room.

It is challenging to effectively teach students about cultural and social diversity, especially if we seek to get beyond set responses and to genuinely challenge attitudes, approaches, and behaviors. Often with the best of intentions, faculty assign students work that generates less than satisfactory results—responses that are ultimately disappointing in terms of the depth of understanding conveyed. If we assign students a documentary to watch, a cultural group to research or a social issue to address, how do we help them past depictions that prevail in readily available sources or a rote “appropriate” response that they think their teachers want? Can we help our students get to a point where they can demonstrate a true understanding that allows them to more intelligently and compassionately address real social and cultural issues?

Ann Reed (Anthropology) and Sebastian Braun (Indian Studies) teach in disciplines that daily present this challenge of teaching past stereotypes and a surface knowledge of social-cultural diversity. In this On Teaching seminar, they will share their insights into how to address the pre-conceived notions students bring to class, and suggestions for approaching assignments in ways that constructively push students beyond surface learning towards genuine understanding.

Please register by noon Monday, Feb. 11, to attend and reserve a lunch. Visit the Office of Instructional Development online ( to register. For information, contact Jana Lagro at 777.4998 or

-- Office of Instructional Development.

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