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Teaching for Equity and with Empathy

Dr. Jessica Calarco highlights the challenges and inequities students face during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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The convergence of the pandemic and the racial injustice movement in the U.S. has engendered an important conversation around traditional teaching practices and learning in the 21st century. Jessica Calarco, associate professor of sociology at Indiana University and the author of two books (A Field Guide to Grad School: Uncovering the Hidden Curriculum and Negotiating Opportunities: How the Middle Class Secures Advantages in Schools), led one such discussion with a group of instructors at the recent Course Hero event, “Teaching in Transition.”

A researcher of inequalities in education and family life, Professor Calarco highlights the challenges students face during the pandemic, including digital inequities, inequities in students’ work and care responsibilities, and inequities related to systemic racism and COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on communities of color. She addresses especially inequitable approaches to teaching including attendance requirements, timed exams, and grading.

In her talk, Professor Calarco shares strategies for teaching with empathy and for equity to help educators level the playing field to help students navigate their course and be successful.

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