Using Affinity-Based Caucusing to Create Relevant and Inclusive Conversations

Friday, Apr 23rd
12:00pm - 01:00pm

Type of Workshop:  Teaching & Learning Workshops

Host:  Campus Partner at UNM

Facilitator:  Dr. Marissa Greenberg

Location:  Webinar

One of many challenges facing today’s teachers is how to make academic material relevant to students with diverse, complex identities and experiences of privilege and oppression. A pedagogy of meeting students where they are – that is, instruction that invites students to perceive how “their lives and backgrounds are reflected in the curriculum and in classroom conversations” [LINK:] – will create opportunities for personally meaningful engagement with academic material and foster learning environments that are inclusive and equitable. But how do we structure our curricula and classrooms to enable such crucial yet difficult conversations as part of discipline-specific studies? Affinity-based caucusing is an effective strategy for creating conversations that pair the critical processes of academic inquiry, discovery, examination, and creation with students’ intersecting positionalities and experiential knowledge. In this workshop, Dr. Marissa Greenberg shares some of the research behind this strategy as well as actionable tactics for implementing it into your classes. While examples will derive from online literature courses, the broader pedagogical strategy and tactics presented in this workshop will be adaptable to various disciplines and teaching environments.