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Creating a Positive Climate for Learning


Creating a Positive Climate for Learning: Dealing with Incivility and Conflict in the Classroom

WEPAN Member access to all webinar recordings & resources


In this webinar faculty will learn how to mitigate conflict as it occurs within four relationship venues: student-student, student-faculty, faculty-student, and faculty-faculty.

Research shows that differences (e.g., race, gender, etc.) in the classroom are often the variables around which conflict and disruptive behaviors emerge. These behaviors in turn hinder faculty effectiveness and student engagement and learning.

Rather than avoid or overlook disruptive behaviors, faculty can address incivility and conflict and powerfully model for their students how to work with uncomfortable circumstances.

You will learn strategies to:

  • Address incivility and conflict as it arises in the moment.
  • Proactively structure the class context to minimize incivility and conflict.
  • Learn the positive elements necessary within faculty culture to reduce incivility and conflict.

This applications-based webinar helps educators recognize and address the complex role diversity plays in learning environments. You will never think of equity in education in quite the same way.

WEPAN members can access the following additional webinar resources:

  • Powerpoint (PDF)
  • Webinar Transcript
  • Action Checklist
  • Scenario 1 Chat Log
  • Scenario 2 Chat Log
  • Recommended Reading
  • Science faculty's subtle gender biases favor make students
  • Experience of Students' Disruptive and Disrespectful Behavior, Survey of Faculty


Our Presenters

Mark Chesler, Ph.D., Arthur Thurnau Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Michigan

Mark Chesler is the author/editor of 7 books and over 200 articles, chapters and reports. Some of his recent co-authored publications include: Faculty Identities and the Challenge of Diversity  (2013), Intergroup Dialogue in Higher Education (2007), and Challenging Racism in Higher Education (2005).  He is a founding faculty member of the Program on Intergroup Relations and its focus on Intergroup Dialogues. He has worked with the ADVANCE Program at the University of Michigan, focusing on addressing issues of gender and racial inequality and change in pedagogical approaches, programs and departmental policies.  Mark has been the recipient of the National Center for Institutional Diversity Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Engagement, and the Ernest Lynton Award for Professional Service and Academic Outreach, among other honors. Mark earned his Ph.D. in Social Psychology (University of Michigan).


Al Young, Ph.D.Al Young, Ph.D., Arther Thurnau Professor of Sociology and Chair, Department of Sociology, and Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, University of Michigan

Al Young's research interests span culture, contemporary sociological theory, race relations and race theory, and urban poverty.  Some of his recent publications include, a co-edited book Faculty Identities and the Challenge of Diversity: Reflections on Teaching in Higher Education (2013),and the Minds of Marginalized Black Men: Making Sense of Mobility, Opportunity, and Future Life Chances (2004). Among many honors, Al has received the Ann Arbor YMCA Lifetime Achievement Award, LSA’s Excellence in Education Award twice, U-M’s Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award and John Dewey Prize, and the Michigan Sociological Association’s Charles Horton Cooley Award for scholarly contributions to sociology.  Al earned his Ph.D. in Sociology (University of Chicago).

Joanna Millunchick, Ph.D.Joanna Millunchick, Professor of Materials Science in Engineering, University of Michigan

Joanna Millunchick's general research interests involves manipulating matter on the nanoscale in order to enable the design of new electronic materials for optoelectronic and photovoltaic applications.  For the past several years, Millunchick has also conducted pedagogical research examining the efficacy of internet-based resources in student learning, and the impact of participation in Science and Technology related student organizations on persistence.  Prior to joining the University of Michigan, she held a postdoctoral position at Sandia National Laboratories. She is a Senior Fellow at the Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan and the Faculty Director of M-STEM Academies in Engineering, which is a program that supports at-risk students studying Science and Engineering. Joanna has received several awards, most recently the Raymond J. and Monica E. Schultz Outreach & Diversity Award (2015) and the Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize (2012).  Joanna earned her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering (Northwestern University).


Engineering Inclusive Teaching

This webinar is a product of the Engineering Inclusive Teaching (EIT) project, a 3 year program led by WEPAN and funded by the National Science Foundation. Learn more about the project here



Small teaching changes foster inclusivity
for women and underrepresented men 
with benefits for ALL students
more Calendar

1/24/2021 » 1/27/2021
CoNECD Conference 2020 (rescheduled to Jan 2021)

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