Exeter Diversity Institute

Join us for the Exeter Diversity Institute
June 26 - July 1, 2016

Are you confident that your former students can understand current events such as the unrest in Ferguson and other communities protesting injustice? Can they engage constructively when misuse of power and privilege arise in their schools, personal lives, or communities?

Why "Harkness" Plus Diversity?

Exeter's acclaimed "Harkness" principles for instruction equip students with skills that will benefit them for life: how to listen as well as speak with more purpose, how to dig in together for deeper understanding. However, when the topic is race or any polarizing social category, students who are unaware of the shaping influence of their own cultural perspectives may still arrive at unhelpful and distorted conclusions, without realizing it. Even the most experienced Harkness teachers struggle to know when or how to intervene in these moments that are so crucial.

The Exeter Diversity Institute (EDI) extends the Harkness principles to enable teachers of the humanities (especially American literature and history) to help students learn about themselves, even as they are learning about others.  Sometimes quickly, sometimes very slowly, students and teachers can then experience the liberation that comes from breaking through unseen barriers and unconscious assumptions in their own minds. Ultimately, they acquire life-skills essential to navigating our complex world with deeper understanding and integrity. The EDI will equip the humanities teacher and/or administrator with two important sets of professional tools:

1. How to choose course materials that will challenge and enhance traditional humanities coursework.

2. Specific facilitation skills and practical tips for use inside and outside the classroom, that can help students and adults discover their own cultural limitations and then push beyond their own preconceptions.

With a larger toolkit of skills and resources, humanities teachers and administrators can create an exciting, academically rigorous, and personally challenging yet potentially transformative experience for their students.