The Times article highlights Dr. Shannon Mariotti, Southwestern Professor of Political Science, and her strategies “to develop compassion and empathy” among students in her classes. Dr. Mariotti starts her classes with silent meditation and incorporates the book, “Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life” to encourage students to handle conflict and opposing views with respect and compassion.

The article also points out that conflict and hot-button issues on college campuses are not exclusive to political science courses. It quotes Scott McLean, Professor of Kinesiology at Southwestern, and his mindful attention to presenting both sides of a potentially dividing issue. He prepares for potential conflict and considers how to handle heated discussions in his kinesiology classes.
Today’s college environments offer a diverse environment across many areas: political, economic, race, religion, gender, sexuality and more. That’s a wonderful thing. But it’s increasingly important for faculty to prepare for and discuss ways to handle tension and conflict within their classrooms. 

Click here to read the full New York Times article.

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