Difficult Dialogues Faculty Learning Community


Difficult Dialogues is a national program designed to promote and protect academic freedom and religious, cultural, and political pluralism on university campuses. Originally launched by two UAA/APU Ford Foundation grants, this project equips UAA faculty with the skills, knowledge and support to proactively and effectively introduce controversial topics into the classroom and, where necessary, field unanticipated controversy that arises.  See UAA Difficult Dialogues Website

The premise of the project is that assisting students to develop the skills and confidence to engage constructively across differences is central to the functioning of a democracy and, therefore, a university’s mission.  It also recognizes that difficult dialogues between indigenous and academic cultures involve some of the most critical issues facing higher education and humanity today.

There are two strands to this project, both of which center around UAA-produced texts, described below:


Engaging Controversy:

Start-Talking-Cover-225 Start Talking:  A Handbook for Engaging Controversy in Higher Education introduces faculty to strategies for introducing controversial topics in the classroom.

Faculty Learning Community- Next session TBA.

Alaska Native Ways of Teaching:

stoptalking Stop Talking:  Indigenous Ways of Teaching and Learning and Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education introduces faculty to 10,000-year old Alaska Native pedagogies as well as key difficult dialogues between indigenous and academic communities.

Faculty Learning Community-Register for the Fall 2014 session TBA

Faculty Portfolios-