SMU Magazine Originally Posted: Dec. 6, 2019 Professor Jill DeTemple teaches students how to take topics that drive people apart and reframe the conversation around personal experiences to promote understanding. Through curious questioning and thoughtful listening, students learn they don’t have to agree with their political opposites to understand where they’re coming from. Columnist Sharon Grigsby wrote about the class published for The Dallas Morning News on October 16, 2019. READ MORE EXCERPT: Professor Jill DeTemple, in the religious studies department of SMU’s Dedman College, has developed a discussion tool, dubbed reflective structured dialogue, that she is using in her own classrooms and sharing with professors here and across the nation. The idea is to take topics that drive people apart — gun rights, abortion, [...]
Jill DeTemple is teaching local students and faculty nationwide how to effectively navigate hot-button topics
Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: October 17, 2019 I don’t know about you, but the sorry state of what passes for debate these days — hair-trigger anger and social media carpet-bombing — beats me into believing that thoughtful discussion about life’s toughest stuff is dead and gone. Too often, I wind up feeling timid, tentative or just plain tired-head around hot-button issues. That’s why I went back to college last week to look into what I had heard were powerful efforts by one professor and her students to revive civil discourse. I didn’t find a magic potion for what ails society, but I did come back with better ideas on how to reengage. The timing couldn’t have been better, given the hotbed of political emotions [...]
Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: Septemeber 11, 2019 Jill DeTemple is associate professor of religious studies at Southern Methodist University and a faculty associate at Essential Partners. She wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News. It's not too late to start listening. Giving ear and respect to other perspectives builds trust and a sense of community we have lost and desperately hope to regain. There's an opportunity to do this in classrooms, living rooms and assembly rooms. It starts with setting the stage and ground rules to promote honest and safe dialogue. It continues with free-flowing exchanges after we take a chance and learn why others believe what they believe. "I used to joke that I was a passive anarchist waiting for civilization to [...]
Happy first day of classes! It is going to be a great year!
CNN Originally Posted: May 7, 2019 Mark Chancey, an SMU professor of religious studies, was quoted in this article. (CNN) -- Legislators across the country have reignited the fight for, and debate over so-called "Bible literacy classes" -- elective courses in public schools about Scriptures' impact. Alabama, Florida, Missouri, North Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia are among the states that have seen Bible literacy bills so far in 2019. Several of those efforts have fallen along the wayside. While advocates for such classes believe students ought to be able to learn about the Bible's influence on world history, culture and language, opponents tout separation of church and state and their concerns that teachers might possibly stray into proselytizing. READ MORE
One day. For 24 hours on March 5, the entire SMU community will come together to give back and celebrate the causes we care about – supporting students, improving cities, educating teachers, fighting for justice, fueling champions – together, the possibilities are endless. Please consider supporting a Dedman College cause: Dedman College Scholars Dean’s Research Council SMU Human Rights SMU Fund for Dedman College Data Hackathon Challenges: Dean’s Research Council Match Gifts made to the Dedman College Dean’s Research Council will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000. Thank you to generous donors, Dr. Anthony Aramoonie ‘94 and Nicole Aramoonie for making this possible! Dedman College Scholars Challenge Support scholarships and help us meet the challenge from longtime SMU supporters Carl Sewell ’66 and Peggy Higgins [...]
D Magazine Originally Posted: December 2018 issue The Rev. Dr. Michael W. Waters earned a B.A. in political science and religious studies from SMU in 2002, followed by two degrees from Perkins School of Theology: the M. Div. cum laude and Doctor of Ministry with honors. On September 12, six days after 26-year-old Botham Jean was shot and killed in his apartment by an off-duty Dallas police officer named Amber Guyger, a press conference was held in the Flag Room at Dallas City Hall by citizens demanding the creation of an office of police oversight. They wanted an independent review board armed with subpoena power and the authority to investigate police shootings. What they really wanted was justice. This, at least, would be a step in that direction. [...]
Event Date: October 25, 2018 Location: Dallas Hall Time: 7:30 pm "Israel, BDS, and Campus Life: Complexities of Jewish Identity in the American Academy" by Profs. Doron Ben-Atar and Andrew Pessin, authors of _Anti-Zionism on Campus. The University, Free Speech, and BDS_ Many scholars have struggled with rising anti-Israel sentiments on college and university campuses worldwide. Drawing on their extensive qualitative research, Profs. Doron Ben-Atar and Andrew Pessin will explore the deleterious impact of the Boycott Divest Sanction (BDS) movement on the most cherished Western ideals of free speech, civility, respectful discourse, and open research. Link for more information: https://www.smu.edu/Dedman/academics/programs/jewishstudies/events
A new survey reveals that not only do business executives value college, they want students with skills associated with the liberal arts.
Inside Higher Ed Originally Posted: August 28, 2018 Public May Not Trust Higher Ed, but Employers Do A new survey reveals that not only do business executives value college, they want students with skills associated with the liberal arts. Though public support for higher education seems to be waning, this skepticism doesn’t appear to extend to potential employers, who say they still have faith in colleges and universities, according to a new survey conducted on behalf of the Association of American Colleges & Universities. But while executives and hiring managers believe that institutions are teaching graduates the skills needed for entry-level jobs, they reported that students usually aren’t ready to be promoted. AAC&U commissioned the Washington, D.C.-based Hart Research Associates to survey two groups: 500 or so business [...]
Chronicle of Higher Education Originally Posted: July 19, 2018 Hello and welcome to Teaching, a weekly newsletter from The Chronicle of Higher Education. First, Beckie explores one approach to a common problem: leading substantive classroom discussions on divisive issues. Then we ask for your help finding examples of how colleges encourage professors to try new things in the classroom for an upcoming special issue. Dan shares what one instructor learned from student feedback, and we’ll close out with some new books you may want to read. One Way to Run Classroom Discussions on Divisive Issues In these politically polarized times, it can be difficult to meaningfully discuss a hot-button issue in the classroom — or anywhere else. Rather than considering something new, or even really [...]