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Pedagogy workshops are designed to encourage faculty and teaching assistants to discover their core beliefs about teaching and learning, and impart innovative classroom approaches including intergroup dialogue, theater techniques, and affect work.  The aim is to teach instructors ways to create safe and receptive learning environments for students to engage with difficult material and express their ideas in the classroom.

We have identified four approaches to pedagogy that will be addressed in the first four workshops:

1) intergroup dialogue, led by Social Work faculty member Biren “Ratnesh” Nagda (Fall 2006)

 2) engaged action research, developed by UW Bothell Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences faculty member Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren (Winter 2007)

3) interview identity work in the spirit of Anna Deavere Smith, as developed by Drama faculty Judy Shahn (Spring 2007)

4) the Comparative History of Ideas (CHID) Program’s student-centered, inquiry-driven approach to pedagogy

Check out our news + events page for information about upcoming pedagogy workshops. If you would like more information about participating in an upcoming pedagogy workshop please contact Theresa Ronquillo, Project Coordinator, at


Fall 2007 Pedagogy Workshop

Navigating Difficult Dialogues: Promoting Difference, Dialogue, Communities, and Change

On December 1 and 8, Difficult Dialogues conducted its fourth pedagogy workshop on pedagogic mechanisms one can utilize to promote an atmosphere that values student, staff, and faculty initiative.  The workshop was facilitated by members of the Comparative History of Ideas (CHID) Program. Instructors, staff, and graduate students from a wide variety of disciplines across campus participated in discussions about the different ways that power operates in the classroom and institution, issues around “safe spaces,” and potential strategies for identifying and navigating difficult material and conversations in the classroom and beyond.   


Spring 2007 Pedagogy Workshop

"I Believe"

On April 14 and 28, Difficult Dialogues conducted its third pedagogy workshop on identifying core beliefs, facilitated by Judy Shahn, a Senior Lecturer in Voice and Dialects in the UW Department of Drama. The workshop explored how uncovering and articulating core beliefs can be used to create a pedagogical process where students listen and respond to one another's beliefs. Shahn also demonstrated how students can turn personal narratives, as well as oral histories of others, into performative pieces, and how these performances help students inhabit other people's viewpoints and serve as starting points to explore and conduct difficult dialogues. Instructors, staff, graduate and undergraduate students engaged in a variety of writing, performative, and discussion activities.


Winter 2007 Pedagogy Workshop

Performance and Pedagogy

The Difficult Dialogues Southeast Asian American Pluralism project conducted its second pedagogy workshop on a performance-based approach to pedagogy. Theater-based models of pedagogy have proven effective in bridging the gap between a theoretical understanding of concepts and issues to how social transformation can best take place.  The dynamic two-part workshop took place January 20 and February 10, and was facilitated by Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren, Assistant Professor of Performance Studies at the University of Washington, Bothell.

The objective of the workshop was to explore how to use theater and movement-based exercises to create an interactive, hands-on classroom environment.  Nearly 30 instructors representing a diversity of disciplines across the UW campus participated in a variety of theater and movement exercises including role playing and storytelling, as well as drawing and writing techniques.  Many of the workshop participants have reported they enjoyed learning about new, exciting, innovative, and creative approaches to teaching and learning.


Fall 2006 Pedagogy Workshop

Intergroup Dialogue:  Engaging Difference, Identity and Conflict in the Classroom

On Saturday October 7 and October 14, the Difficult Dialogues Southeast Asian American Pluralism Project conducted its first pedagogy workshop on intergroup dialogue—an approach to learning about difference, identities, and inequalities.  The two-part workshop was facilitated by Biren (Ratnesh) A. Nagda, Associate Professor of Social Work and Director of the Intergroup Dialogue, Education and Action (IDEA) Center at the University of Washington ( Instructors representing a diversity of disciplines across the UW campus participated in a variety of experiential, reflective and dialogic activities and learned effective approaches for exploring identities, building relationships across differences, and developing collaborations for social justice.





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