Sense and Sensitivity

Lillie coverThis edited volume examines aspects of teaching and learning in situations where community or ethnic division may impact negatively on classroom experience and behaviour in tertiary education. The book considers cases from four locations where marked divisions in the wider society exert a continuing influence on the student body: Northern Ireland, England, France and the United States of America. All of these countries share certain underlying principles of governance and freedom as well as historical interconnections, but have within them particular groups characterized by various levels of separation and distrust. The sociohistorical context relevant to each case is outlined, followed by a discussion of the attitudes, opinions and reactions of the learners concerned. The volume concludes with a consideration of pedagogical approaches that may help to bridge difference and foster a more positive atmosphere. Although this study focuses on particular community environments, the techniques highlighted by contributors may be useful in any classroom setting where a heterogeneous mix of individuals has the potential to lead to dissension and conflict.

Elisabeth Lillie is Emeritus Professor of Language Learning and Teaching at the University of Ulster. A French specialist with interests in literature, thought and area studies, she also has a range of publications on the subject of teaching and learning in higher education.

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