This week, I started teaching a summer writing course (for new arrivals at UTK) with a focus on the 2016 US election.
At UTK, the award-winning writing program likes to focus introductory writing courses on the teaching of rhetoric. I thought: if we are going to study rhetoric, we can’t ignore the election. Let’s teach something big and risky this time…
On the first day, I told the students that we should come up with some rules for class discussions, to make sure we talked about serious topics without carelessly hurting feelings or making people feel isolated.
I asked the students, in groups, to come up with rules for them, and rules for me (such as: your grade does not depend on agreeing with my views), and this is what they created: