Scenarios

Below are the scenarios from the self-assessment quizzes (only available in the online format) that introduce each chapter of this guidebook. We’ve included the scenarios without the answer prompts so that you can use and repurpose them for your own discussions and workshops on pedagogy.

Gender & Pronouns

  1. On the first week of the semester, you see a familiar face in class and refer to the student by their name in front of the whole class. The student is visibly distressed and tells you they use a different name. What should you do?
  2. During your first class, you use a pronoun go-around exercise, where students share their names and pronouns with the class. One student says, “pass,” and then another student questions them and asks, “Well, how should I refer to you?” How do you respond?
  3. A student informs you that their student record hasn’t yet been updated to include their new name and gender. They are concerned that their peers will use the wrong name in online class discussion forums. How would you troubleshoot this problem?

Indigenous Content and Decolonizing Principles in the Classroom

  1. As part of your work to try to respond to your school’s call to Indigenize course offerings, you invite a guest speaker from another department who is an expert on Indigenous art and artifacts into your course to talk about Indigenous cultures. One of your students questions your choice of a guest speaker who isn’t Indigenous. How would you respond to your students?
  2. You help your department host an event on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit people. During the event, a student who you know is Indigenous is visibly upset and leaves the event. How do you handle this scenario?
  3. During a university workshop on decolonizing curriculum, one of your colleagues shared that she already includes the university’s territorial acknowledgement in her syllabus. Another colleague in the workshop shares his plans to decolonize his classes by having students perform a charitable task for extra credit. How would you respond?

Diversity, Inclusion, and Racial Justice in the Classroom

  1. Political protests have been organized on campus in response to anti-Black racist incidents involving campus security. Given the context, you screen a documentary in class on the history of police brutality in Black communities. The film depicts graphic images of Black people being attacked by police. What do you do to prepare for the class?
  2. During a class presentation, a student plays a song that contains the “n-word” in the lyrics. The student puts the lyrics up in the presentation and invites the class to discuss the song in relation to course readings. Some students in class participate in discussion by reading the word out loud. How do you navigate this context?
  3. In a class discussion on racism, a white student calls out a fellow white student, accusing them of being racist because they questioned whether affirmative action initiatives work.

Navigating Difficult Pedagogical Dynamics

  1. During a class presentation, one of the student groups plays a video featuring overtly sexualized language and derogatory comments on people’s bodies. Some students in the class are upset and say that they should have been given a trigger warning before seeing the video. How would you handle this situation?
  2. During a department meeting, your colleague suggested that her classes are a safe space for her students. However, you know of at least one student who has confidentially shared with you that she feels uncomfortable in this professor’s classes but has not felt safe to say anything directly to this professor. How would you respond?
  3. After a guest speaker visited your class, you received an email from them expressing concern about how it went. They share that they felt tokenized by you and the students in the class. How would you respond?

Access and Disability Justice

  1. During the first week of the new semester, a student approaches you after class to ask if they can have an accommodation. They’re not registered with accessibility services because they don’t have a medical diagnosis, but they have been struggling to high levels of anxiety that disrupt their ability to complete class assignments. How would you respond?
  2. While discussing the topic of climate change, a student suggests we should be revisiting ideas around population control to ensure highly qualified and skilled individuals have the resources needed to ensure the survival of the planet. How would you handle this discussion?
  3. One of your students who has relied on notetakers provided by the access office has just informed you that this service is no longer available to students who are registered for accessibility support. How would you respond?

License

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Better Practices in the Classroom by Natalie Kouri-Towe and Myloe Martel-Perry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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