Group Dynamics: Bracketing and Safe(r) Spaces

In collaboration with Dawson College’s New School

Group Dynamics: Bracketing and Safe(r) Spaces
Monday April 23rd (1pm, in the 8b Lounge at New School)

Nicola Morry and Rushdia Mehreen, both Humanities facilitators at Dawson College’s New School, will co-facilitate a discussion on the need for safe(r) spaces and strategies for creating them in the classroom without shutting down discussion of more controversial or sensitive topics. Rushdia will discuss practical strategies of creating safe(r) space, and share a pamphlet that was partially adopted by her “Is Free Speech Fair Speech?” class that she is facilitating this semester. The pamphlet also draws on Rushdia’s experience in facilitating emotionally charged conversations with the Politics & Care group. Nicola will complement these practical strategies with a discussion on bracketing: “temporarily setting aside one’s own preconceptions or beliefs – is an essential step in the academic study of religion as it allows one to approach religions on their own terms even while retaining one’s own faith commitment.” (Smith, 1999, pp. 60) While the term ‘bracketing’ will be most familiar to scholars of Religious Studies, Nicola will suggest its applicability in all CEGEP classrooms.

This workshop may be most relevant to Humanities educators, but the importance of balancing the need for safe space in the classroom with critical inquiry into areas of potential sensitivity to students is universal. All are welcome! Rushdia’s current students and Nicola’s former students will be invited to participate if they so wish.

Facilitated by Nicola Morry & Rushdia Mehreen
For more details, check out: Teaching Outside the Box: New School Conversations

The backgrounder to the concept of safe spaces, related issues & reflection questions can be downloaded here.



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