The contemporary college campus is a place where controversial issues should be able to be discussed in a civil manner – where the pursuit of mutual understanding and tolerance should be pursued on a continual basis. Only by challenging assumptions, opinions and beliefs within the confines of an orderly and respectful dialog can students truly arrive at their own unique conclusions about where they stand, and where society should stand, on the pressing issues of our day.
Discussions about issues related to race, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, religion, morality, the First and Second Amendments, immigration, diversity, politics, firearms, police, alcohol and drugs, and mental health (just to name a few) have traditionally been part of the educational experience at colleges and universities for decades. Recent tragedies and near-tragedies at many institutions, however, have underscored the need for greater competence in facilitating these conversations in a more civil manner. Indeed, you do not have to spend much time searching the Internet to find instances where explosive outbursts and other disruptive behaviors have served to inhibit the free exchange of ideas and opinions that is essential for the development of critical thinking skills and informed perspectives.
This webinar by expert speaker Dr. Aaron W. Hughey is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively engage and manage students in productive discussions over controversial issues, including how to maintain a safe and secure environment when conflict arises that has the potential to be volatile. The focus will be both on how to facilitate educationally oriented conversations over virtually any topic and how to effectively intervene when the banter begins to move in a counterproductive direction; i.e., when emotions begin to overtake reason and the environment begins to potentially deteriorate into name-calling, shouting and cursing, or worse.
You will learn how to use evidence-based best practices for dealing with conflict and controversy on the contemporary college campus – skills and techniques you can immediately employ in order to maintain a civil, non-threatening and educational environment. You will also learn how to effectively intercede when detrimental attitudes and behaviors threaten to precipitate a dangerous and volatile climate. Specifically, you will learn specific strategies for facilitating civil discussions and proven techniques for de-escalating potentially volatile interactions.
Who should attend?
Dr. Aaron W. Hughey
Dr. Aaron W. Hughey is a Professor in the Department of Counseling and Student Affairs at Western Kentucky University, where he oversees the graduate degree program in Student Affairs in Higher Education. He is also a member of the President's Task Force on Student Retention at WKU. Before joining the faculty in 1991, ... More info