This Unit critically examines pedagogical theory and practice. We invite proposals that join innovative teaching practice with the scholarship of teaching and learning. Preference will be given to presentation formats that model engaged, interactive, and experiential pedagogy.
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Teaching Religion Unit
Call for Proposals
● A Conversation about Derek Bruff's Intentional Tech: Principles to Guide the Use of Educational Technology in College Teaching (WVU Press 2019). Bruff is the director of the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching, and the publisher notes that Bruff argues that teaching and learning goals should drive instructors’ technology use, not the other way around. Intentional Tech explores seven research-based principles for matching technology to pedagogy. We invite proposals from persons interested in discussing Bruff's Intentional Tech on a moderated small panel. Successful proposals will directly address how specific ideas from the book or elements of it relate to course design and classroom teaching.
● Teaching after Traumatic Events
The Teaching Religion Unit invites proposals to participate in an exploratory session about teaching in the days after traumatic events, such as natural disasters or campus shootings. Participants in the session will work together to think through how we might assemble resources in the immediate aftermath of events that affect our students and communities. We invite proposals from scholar-teachers with expertise related to teaching in the aftermath of trauma and from colleagues with experience locating useful sources, creating shared resources, or contributing to crowdsourced syllabi when classes are underway, something happens, and an intervention is necessary. We also invite proposals from applicants with experience teaching in situations of ongoing trauma, such as those whose teaching addresses movements like Black Lives Matter or #MeToo to share pedagogical strategies and resources.
● How to Teach Indigenous Religious Traditions
The African Diaspora Religions, Indigenous Religious Traditions, and Native Traditions in the Americas Unit invites proposals for a cosponsored session. Heeding Linda Tuhiwai Smith's call to center contemporary Indigenous politics, spiritual protocols and authorship within research methodologies, this co-sponsored session will feature papers and demonstrations on teaching Indigenous religious traditions. Presenters will pre-circulate their pedagogical papers prior to the AAR meeting. Their written approach will be in close conversation with contemporary Indigenous methodologies, teachers, activists, writers, and intellectuals. Panelists will speak for five minutes and then briefly demonstrate their approach to applying Indigenous pedagogies within the teaching of specific Indigenous religious traditions.
● Teaching about Death, Dying, and Beyond
The Death, Dying and Beyond and the Teaching Religion Units invite paper proposals for a cosponsored panel on the teaching of death, dying and beyond. “Death and Dying in World Religions,” “Sociology of Death,” “Cultures of Death and Dying,” or some variation of this undergraduate course usually exists as a general education course or elective in which students learn about how death, dying, and the afterlife are experienced, considered, handled, ritualized, mourned and memorialized, etc. in different religious traditions, cultures, geographies. Many courses, whether housed in religion departments, sociology or philosophy, explore a variety of approaches and methodologies while experimenting with new mediums and pedagogies. This cosponsored session invites paper proposals broadly on the teaching of death, dying, and beyond both within the university and outside the classroom.
● Teaching Religions in Africa
Teaching African religions – in all their diversity – brings its own challenges to the classroom. These challenges relate to the longstanding problem of othering and the history of (mis)representation of African societies and cultures, including their religious beliefs and practices, in the West; the contemporary politicisation of African religious traditions and identities both within Africa and beyond; the intricacies relating to power and positionality in knowledge production, and the limitations of academic categories, concepts and methodologies. This co-sponsored section will feature reflections on, and demonstrations of innovative pedagogical approaches, curriculum design, teaching practices, and textbook resources.
● Teaching with Technology in the Classroom
We seek papers or panels devoted to teaching with and/or creating resources for use in the classroom, specifically podcasting, YouTube, virtual reality or augmented reality apps, and popular social media platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram.
● Teaching online
The Teaching Religion Unit invites proposals on teaching about effective strategies for teaching religions online.
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Kate DeConinck, University of San DiegoMember Since: 2020
Kathleen Fisher, Assumption CollegeMember Since: 2015
David McConeghy, Salem State UniversityMember Since: 2016
Thomas Pearson, Wabash CenterMember Since: 2019
Joseph Tucker Edmonds, Indiana University-Purdue University, IndianapolisMember Since: 2020
Almeda Wright, Yale UniversityMember Since: 2018