Teaching Diversity Relationally: Engaging Emotions and Embracing Possibilities offers process-oriented guidance for negotiating the psychological and relational challenges inherent in teaching about race, privilege, and oppression. Grounded in the philosophy of Transformative Education and incorporating psychological theories, the authors present concrete strategies for effectively teaching diversity and social justice courses.

The authors develop an intersectional social justice framework for Transformative Education that emphasizes five emotional-relational pillars of successful teaching for diversity: cultivating reflexivity and exploration of positionality; engaging emotions; fostering perspective taking and empathy; promoting community and relational learning; and encouraging agency and responsibility. They provide guidance on how to prepare for social justice education that fosters the growth of learners and educators by addressing intersecting levels of engagement—intrapsychic (within individual students and educators), relational (between students, between faculty and students), and group dynamic.

Teaching Diversity Relationally follows the developmental arc of a diversity course across a semester, exploring how students respond as the course moves into deeper content material and more intense discussions. The authors describe the psychology behind these responses, and offer best practices for different points in the semester to facilitate learning, manage class dynamics, build connections among students, and prevent faculty burnout.

Teaching Diversity Relationally addresses the teaching process in diversity courses. The authors' companion text, Unraveling Assumptions: A Primer for Understanding Oppression and Privilege provides the foundational content for university courses that can be expanded upon with a range of disciplines. Unraveling Assumptions offers an introductory exploration of power, privilege, and oppression as foundations of systems of inequality and examines complexities within meanings and lived experiences of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, and social class.

chapter 1|24 pages

Purpose, Postulations, and Positionalities

part Section 1|69 pages


chapter 2|31 pages

Transformative Education

Purpose, Process, and Psychology

chapter 3|36 pages

Psychological Pillars of Transformative Education

Emotional and Relational Processes

part Section 2|196 pages

Transformative Education across the Arc of a Semester

chapter 4|25 pages

Before You Begin

Proactive Planning for Effective Transformative Education

chapter 5|32 pages

The First Week(s)

Establishing a Relational Learning Community

chapter 6|30 pages

The Beginning Arc

Establishing Foundations

chapter 7|28 pages

The Middle Arc I

Holding Emotional Intensity and Struggle

chapter 8|28 pages

The Middle Arc II

Facilitating Brave Conversations (aka Difficult Dialogues)

chapter 9|20 pages

The Middle Arc III

Promoting Empathy and Hope

chapter 10|29 pages

Endings and New Beginnings

Encouraging Agency and Sustaining the Journey

part Section 3|27 pages

Considering Contexts and Conclusion

chapter 11|23 pages

Considering Contexts

Geography, Institutional Nature, Student Diversity, Faculty Rank

chapter 12|3 pages

Final Thoughts

Our Hopes for Your Future