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Microaggressions and Student Learning

In the midst of a class discussion, you call on the only non-traditional-aged student in your class, a woman, who also appears to be your only African-American student. She's making an excellent and useful contribution when suddenly she seems to lose interest in what she's saying and rambles to a halt. After class, you ask her what happened, and she says, "Haven't you noticed? The minute I start talking, all the other students in here just tune out. They're looking at the clock, they're checking their cell phones, they're doodling on their notebooks that they never doodle on unless I'm talking. That kind of stuff." “Oh no, I'm sure they don't," you reply in surprise. Your student's eyes narrow, and she exits the room with, "Excuse me, Professor, I've gotta get going -- I have another class now." 

What just happened? More importantly, what do you do? In the session, we will explore how to recognize microaggressions, understand their impact on student learning, and strategize ways to address this campus climate problem in our own classes. 

Participants are invited to watch this 3:40-minute video from the New York Times and UWL’s own 25:27-minute film “Inclusive Negligence” before coming to the workshop. UWL's Campus Climate office defines microaggressions as "brief and commonplace everyday exchanges that communicate hostile, derogatory, denigrating or negative slights and insults to certain individuals because of their group membership. They are often automatic and well-intended.”

When: 1:30 to 3 p.m. Friday, April 14
Where: 153 Murphy Library
To request disability accommodations (accessible seating, interpreting, closed captioning, FM systems, etc.), contact Deb Hoskins at dhoskins@uwlax.edu or 608.785.8734.
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