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Facilitating Difficult Dialogues and Diversity Dynamics in the Classroom

Workshop by Diane J. Goodman
Smith College School of Social Work and
State University of New York-New Paltz

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Capitol Room, Holmes Student Center


Diane J. Goodman
Diane J. Goodman

Whether planned or not, faculty often find themselves trying to manage conversations about diversity and to address the diversity in the classroom. Even when faculty are well versed in their subject areas, they may feel less prepared to deal with the individual and group responses when addressing multicultural and social justice issues.

This highly interactive workshop will offer perspectives to anticipate and understand these classroom dynamics and strategies to deal with them. Participants will explore how to create a more inclusive classroom environment that allows for productive dialogues and how to deal with common student reactions, such as conflict, resistance, strong emotions, and silence. Drawing on theory and their own experiences, participants will gain concrete strategies to feel more confident and competent managing classroom dynamics. This workshop will help participants feel more comfortable dealing with diversity, increase their teaching effectiveness, and enhance their ability to create a productive learning environment.

The workshop presenter, Dr. Diane J. Goodman has been educating about diversity and social justice issues for over 25 years. As a trainer and consultant, Dr. Goodman has worked with a wide range of organizations, community groups, schools and universities. She has been teaching in the areas of education, psychology, social work, and women’s studies. In addition, she was the Director of Human Relations Education and the Interim Affirmative Action Officer at the University of Rhode Island. She currently teaches at the Smith College School of Social Work (Northampton, MA) and at the State University of New York at New Paltz. She regularly presents at national conferences and speaks and writes about social justice issues. Diane is the author of the book Promoting Diversity and Social Justice: Educating People from Privileged Groups, 2nd ed. (Routledge, 2011) and other publications. A tentative agenda is as follows:

Tentative Agenda

Morning Session
8:00   Check-in and Refreshments
8:30   Welcome, introduction and overview
8:45   Identifying Issues; Creating an Inclusive Classroom Environment
10:15   Break
10:30   Perspectives and Theories for Understanding Student and Classroom Dynamics
Afternoon Session
12:00   Lunch at the Blackhawk Cafeteria
1:00   Developing Strategies and Responses
2:15   Break
2:30   Developing Strategies and Responses (Continued)
3:45   Closing Remarks and Workshop Evaluation

Sponsored by:
Office of the Provost
Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center

Registration Information

This workshop is open to NIU administrators, faculty, and staff. Registered participants will receive workshop materials, lunch, and a certificate of participation. If you do not wish to receive a certificate, please inform the Center while registering for the workshop. Advance registration is required.

Due to the expensive nature of the program and the advance notice needed for arranging food and materials, please register by the deadline and plan to attend the entire workshop. After you register, if you are unable to attend, please inform the Center by May 10, 2012 by sending an email to so those on the waiting list can be given the opportunity to attend the workshop or program costs can be reduced.

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Please complete the form below to register.

Registration Form

Registration is closed for this program.

Last Updated: 07/14/2014