22 Individual student preparation

All workshop learners should come into the learning environment with the understanding that there will be some risk involved. Each person brings with them different lived experiences that shape their perspectives and assumptions and therefore will have different understandings of a given situation. Together we hold the responsibility to ensure that the space is as healthy as possible for everyone.

In the boxes below, I point to two of the resources that I use to support my students to do their own self-reflexive preparation before engaging with the scenes.


Sensoy, O., & DiAngelo, R. (2017). ¬†“How to Engage Constructively in Courses” (Chapter 1) in: O. Sensoy & R. DiAngelo, Is everyone really equal?: An introduction to key concepts in social justice education. Teachers College Press.

Authors O. Sensory and R. DiAngelo offer five guidelines that will help to maximize the ways that students can engage constructively with social justice content in pedagogical settings. They are:

“1. Strive for intellectual humility; 2. Recognize the difference between opinions and informed knowledge; 3. Let go of personal anecdotal evidence and look at broader societal patterns; 4. Notice your own defensive reactions and attempt to use these reactions as entry points for gaining deeper self-knowledge; 5. Recognize your own social positionality (such as your race, class, gender, sexuality, ability-status) informs your perspectives and reactions to your instructor and the individuals whose work you study in the course” (Sensoy & DiAngelo, 2017, p. 4).

The chapter ends with five discussion questions (p. 22) that I ask students to reflect on in the first weeks of the course.

Web resource: Using a social identity wheel

When we are not aware of our own social identities, it prevents us from understanding our own complicit roles in perpetuating health inequities. Conversely, when we do understand our social identities and positions, it provides us with a starting place for authentic conversations and active listening to others. In light of this, we ask student to use LSA Inclusive Teaching’s (n.d.) Social Identity Wheel activity to create a first draft of a positionality statement that describes their best understanding of their own social positions. (Adapted for use by the Program on Intergroup Relations and the Spectrum Center, University of Michigan).




Haunting our Biases: Using Participatory Theatre to Interrupt Implicit Bias Copyright © 2022 by Kevin Hobbs; Michael Martin Metz; Nadia Ganesh; Sheila O'Keefe-McCarthy; Joe Norris; Sandy Howe; and Valerie Michaelson. All Rights Reserved.

Share This Book