Risky Teaching

While everyone has had more than enough challenge in the last 18 months, my new book, Risky Teaching, explores how risk and uncertainty can be used productively in and out of the classroom to increase learner engagement and prepare students for a world of ambiguity and volatility.

Learn how a student project idea from a small liberal arts college won a $1 million dollar prize to tackle poverty. Or, how a professor at the University of Alabama turned a Concrete Materials lab into an exploration of uncertainty in engineering pedagogy. Or, what happens when first generation STEM students are given the chance to do real research in their first year of college with minimal preparation.

What if uncertainty and risk were actually positive attributes we want to facilitate in and out of the classroom as we work with our students? In the words of Margaret Wheatley:

“We weren’t trained to admit we don’t know. Most of us were taught to sound certain and confident, to state our opinion as if it were true. We haven’t been rewarded for being confused. Or for asking more questions rather than giving quick answers…

But the world now is quite perplexing. We no longer live in those sweet, slow days when life felt predictable, when we actually knew what to do next. We live in a complex world, we often don’t know what’s going on, and we won’t be able to understand its complexity unless we spend more time in not knowing.

It is very difficult to give up our certainties—our positions, our beliefs, our explanations. These help define us; they lie at the heart of our personal identity. Yet I believe we will succeed in changing this world only if we can think and work together in new ways.”

A special thanks to the many faculty, staff, and administrators from across higher education for sharing their thoughts, ideas, and examples of risky teaching in higher education for this book. #pedagogy#highereducation#riskyteaching

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