Title of Presentation

Teaching Hope in the Face of Wicked Problems: Staying with the Trouble

About the Presenter(s)

Vincent Miller, Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture, Department of Religious Studies

Kelly Johnson, Father William J. Ferree Chair of Social Justice, Department of Religious Studies

Location

Kennedy Union Room 331

Start Date

4-1-2023 1:10 PM

End Date

4-1-2023 2:00 PM

Abstract/Description

"Many of our students are facing anxiety, uncertainty and perhaps even defeatism about the 'real world.'" This is particularly true when we teach students about climate change and structures that perpetuate global extreme poverty. Students come to such topics asking, “What can I do?” They (like the rest of us) are quickly attracted to superficial solutions and struggle to find meaning in continuing to work on an issue that resists such resolution. How will we prepare students to encounter and address problems that are vast in scale, devastating in import, and characterized by profound complexity and uncertainty? How will we train students neither to avoid such problems nor to produce reductionistic “solutions” to them? How will we prepare students to accompany communities all over the world who live in the midst of struggles that are not open to simple resolution? Two faculty members who frequently teach such courses will share approaches and materials to keeping students engaged when easy answers are no answer at all.

Goals for Attendees

Become familiar with the concept of a "wicked problem" (which expands understanding of why students feel overwhelmed and inclined to despair) Identify key aspects of moral psychology relevant to confronting wicked problems (to gain greater understanding of what is going on when students and all of us feel that anxiety and/ or despair) Define solidarity as a virtue and explore its uses in Catholic social tradition, particularly related to climate change and global extreme poverty (moving students from a posture of 'fixing' with its temptation to distance from and objectify those who are suffering, to develop a habit of staying in the trouble rather than fleeing it) Encounter models for keeping students engaged in cases that resist easy solution (exploring practical ways to cultivate virtues of solidarity and hope)

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Jan 4th, 1:10 PM Jan 4th, 2:00 PM

Teaching Hope in the Face of Wicked Problems: Staying with the Trouble

Kennedy Union Room 331

"Many of our students are facing anxiety, uncertainty and perhaps even defeatism about the 'real world.'" This is particularly true when we teach students about climate change and structures that perpetuate global extreme poverty. Students come to such topics asking, “What can I do?” They (like the rest of us) are quickly attracted to superficial solutions and struggle to find meaning in continuing to work on an issue that resists such resolution. How will we prepare students to encounter and address problems that are vast in scale, devastating in import, and characterized by profound complexity and uncertainty? How will we train students neither to avoid such problems nor to produce reductionistic “solutions” to them? How will we prepare students to accompany communities all over the world who live in the midst of struggles that are not open to simple resolution? Two faculty members who frequently teach such courses will share approaches and materials to keeping students engaged when easy answers are no answer at all.