Based on two Ford Foundation Difficult Dialogues grants, a unique partnership between the University of Alaska Anchorage, a large, public university, and Alaska Pacific University, a small, private university, launched two initiatives.
- Offered faculty development intensives to increase the skill level of faculty across the disciplines in proactively introducing controversial topics into the classroom
- Launched a Books of the Yea program which engages the university communities in discussions on controversial topics based on shared texts
- Created Start Talking: A Handbook for Engaging Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education
Alaska Native Ways of Teaching and Learning
- Introduced faculty to key difficult dialogues between the university and Alaska’s Native people as well as to traditional indigenous ways of teaching and learning through another faculty development intensive
- Supported faculty to create online portfolios to share their in-classroom experiments with these new approaches and issues with their colleagues
- Offered semester-long faculty learning communities based on Start Talking: A Handbook for Engaging Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education, and created Stop Talking: Indigenous Ways of Teaching and Learning and Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education.
The program is run through UAA’s Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence and the UAA Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Engagement and Academic Support.
For presentations or consultation, please contact Difficult Dialogues Director Libby Roderick at firstname.lastname@example.org or 907-786-4605.