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Workshop Topic Detail

Strategies for Student Learning and Success: Relational Teaching and Classroom Community Building

This workshop helps faculty build a sense of community within their classrooms by emphasizing dialogic approaches to teaching the whole student and relational teaching pedagogy. The workshop involves extensive interactive work and specific pedagogical strategies for faculty to take back to their respective colleges. Community-building and teaching the whole student matter because they result in improved student academic success and deeper student learning. Teachers who can build appropriate learning relationships with their students can be inspiring and transformative for student learning and their students’ development.

By the end of this workshop, participants know or are able to:

  • The importance of community building and teaching the whole student for student learning and academic achievement.
  • Specific methods for building a community and teaching the whole student in the classroom.
  • A toolbox of exercises and strategies for classroom use.
  • Opportunities for more substantive collegial discussions and relationships among faculty.

Time permitting, participants learn about, discuss, and engage in many or all of the following exercises and pedagogical approaches.

  • The Name Game
  • Classroom Ground Rules
  • The Five-Minute Poem
  • Self-Presentation in Class
  • Required Office Hour Appointments
  • Concentric Circle Exercise
  • Fishbowl Exercises
  • The Power Exercise
  • Critical, Integrative Writing Assignments: Analytic Journal, Social Identity Essay, and More
  • Self-Reflective Assignments Grounded in the Academic Literature
  • Community-Based Learning Opportunities

About the Facilitator

Dr. David Schoem is director of the Michigan Community Scholars Program and a sociology faculty member at the University of Michigan. Dr. Schoem is author and editor of eleven books, including his 2017 book, Teaching the Whole Student: Engaged Learning with Heart, Mind, and Spirit from Stylus Publishing and AACU, and his earlier books, Intergroup Dialogue: Deliberative Democracy in School; College, Community, and Workplace and College Knowledge for the Community College Student from University of Michigan Press. Dr. Schoem has previously served at the University of Michigan as assistant vice president for academic and student affairs and as assistant dean for undergraduate education. He has led faculty institutes on teaching, dialogue, diversity issues, learning communities, and undergraduate education at numerous four- and two-year colleges. Dr. Schoem is a much-loved teacher and has played leadership roles in learning communities, intergroup dialogue, diversity initiatives, first-year seminars, community-service learning, and mentoring. As a first-generation college student, he holds degrees from the University of Michigan (B.A.), Harvard University (M.Ed.), and University of California - Berkeley (Ph.D.).
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