UAA’s two handbooks are designed for faculty, faculty developers and university administrators who seek fresh ideas and skills for productively engaging difficult dialogues on campus—on everything from race to climate change to evolution to indigenous issues!

Stop Talking

Stop Talking handbook cover artFor 10,000 years, Alaska’s Native peoples have survived and thrived in some of the harshest conditions in the world. During that time, they perfected teaching and learning practices that ensured the survival of their communities and the well being of their natural environments. Those ancient practices offer fresh insights for educators who care about the state of our world and seek ways to make education more relevant and engaging.

This book describes a unique higher education project that broke some difficult silences between academic and Native communities by introducing a small group of non-Native faculty members to traditional Alaska Native ways of teaching and learning. It presents a model for a Native-designed and run faculty development intensive, strategies for applying indigenous pedagogies in western learning environments, reflection on education by Alaska Native Elders, and reports from participants on what they learned and what they tried in their classrooms. It is intended to stimulate discussion and reflection about best practices in higher education.

Complete Handbook (pdf)

Stop Talking: Indigenous Ways of Teaching and Learning and Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education

Individual Chapters (pdf)

Chapter 1: Ground Rules

Chapter 2: Indigenizing Education

Chapter 3: Difficult Dialogues

Chapter 4: One Day with Elders on the Land

Chapter 5: Into Our Classrooms

Chapter 6: Assessment

Chapter 7: Pausing for Reflection

References & Recommended Reading

Start Talking

Start Talking handbook cover artThe University of Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Pacific University created Start Talking: A Handbook for Engaging Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education, a field manual for professors who wish to engage their students more effectively in conversations about the most important issues of our time. The book addresses themes of academic freedom; classroom safety; rhetoric and debate; race, class and culture; science and religion; and business, politics and social justice. For information about the project, including faculty intensives on difficult dialogues and indigenous ways of teaching and learning, see UAA Initiatives.



Complete Handbook (pdf)

Start Talking: A Handbook for Engaging Difficult Dialogues in the Classroom

Individual Chapters (pdf)


Chapter 1: Ground Rules

Chapter 2: Rhetoric, Debate

Chapter 3: Race, Class, Culture

Chapter 4: Science, Religion

Chapter 5: Business, Politics

Chapter 6: Outcomes

Chapter 7: Keep Talking


For related information please read about the Toxic Friday book and video.