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Self-disclosure in the classroom can yield many benefits—for instructors and students alike. The sharing of personal information can help to build community, signal the value of openness and humility, create motivational connections between course content and lives outside of the course, and foster meaningful relationships that facilitate learning. There are also attendant risks of sharing parts of ourselves in the classroom, particularly for those with vulnerable social identities. This workshop will lead participants through a consideration of the benefits and challenges of self-disclosure in the classroom. We will also review and brainstorm ways of eliciting self-disclosure that can serve our pedagogical, and personal, goals.
Dr. Emily O. Gravett is Assistant Director of the Teaching Area in the Center for Faculty Innovation and Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy & Religion at James Madison University (JMU). She earned her B.A. from Colgate University in English and Religion and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. She loves supporting the growth of her fellow instructors and feels continually inspired by their commitment to students, pedagogical innovation, and ongoing professional development.