Workshop for professionals: Diversity and dissonance
On Thursday, 29 March 2018, prof. Jason Laker from the San José State University in California (USA) gave a lecture at the Faculty of Social Sciences.
Topics, such as identity and diversity, often trigger tension between students and related communities. When dealing with these topics, it often happens that students experience or react in a manner that is characteristic of “resistance" or “defense attitude”. In this interactive workshop, the participants were acquainted with a pedagogical approach that addresses these kinds of resistance and reactions as dissonance. The workshop addressed dissonance as a necessary process in changing the understanding triggered by information, different from the previous experiences and values of the individual. This approach comes from Mindfulness and Contemplative traditions. Participants had the opportunity to learn and test pedagogical approaches that they can use in the pedagogical process and in their personal lives.
- Participants learned to adequately identify students' reactions to topics such as, for example, identity, diversity, social justice.
- Participants will be better able to understand how curiosity can support students in coping with and reflecting on the discomfort caused by addressing such topics.
- Participants have learned to use certain techniques of excitement that are appropriate for situations where students face dissonance.