University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) has shared “Guidelines for Discussing Difficult or High-Stakes Topics” to help educators facilitate classroom discussion around controversial issues. Whatever the context, CRLT consultants suggest structuring such discussions in a way that defines boundaries for the process and provides some degree of closure within the classroom. They also point out that such discussions are an especially important time to explicitly note expectations for respecting a range of perspectives and experiences. The guidelines focus on planning discussions on high-stakes or controversial subjects, identifying a clear purpose, establishing ground rules or guidelines, providing a common basis for understanding, creating a framework for the discussion that maintains focus and flow, including everyone, being an active facilitator, summarizing the discussion and gathering student feedback, and handling issues that involve the teacher’s identity.
have been working 24/7 since this pandemic began in my role as superintendent,
just like all of my educator friends across the state and country have as well.
I have searched every resource, looked at every model, and tried to emulate the
best of the best. But I forgot one major resource: my students.
The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence has developed a social–emotional learning program called RULER, which teaches students to do daily check-ins, identifying the energy level and pleasantness of their emotions on a color-coded “mood meter.”
To help young people combat the growing mental health crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Yale University is offering a variation of its most popular “happiness” course to more than 500 low-income high school students around the nation at no cost.