The Teaching Interfaith Online webinar, hosted by IFYC’s Director of Academic Initiatives Carolyn Roncolato, Manager Calvin Taylor, and Middlebury President Laurie Patton, offers insights from their various perspectives on teaching interfaith studies online, as well as IFYC’s funding opportunities, and online resources and curriculums to assist faculty as they continue to build and cultivate online learning environments. This webinar is the second in a series of webinars that engage the realities of higher education in the time of COVID-19, and a growing movement for racial equity. Below are three quotes from the webinar, as well as information and links to the funding opportunities and online resources and curriculums.
Laurie Patton: “I think we can pose more controversial questions than we ever have before [now that we are primarily online]…Again, with certain kinds of controls in place on Zoom calls or presentations or whatever that might be. People seem to be more willing to engage in the tough questions and tough deliberations…I do think our experience of engaging with controversial questions means we could take more risks in the space than we have in the past in the classroom.”
Carolyn Roncolato: “One thing I have been asking is, out of this moment, what have I learned that can be left behind? What am I okay with leaving behind?… And what is being forged in this intensity? How do we cultivate honor and acknowledge and create space for learning what that is in the days to come?”
Calvin Taylor: “I have learned it is sometimes beneficial to ask regular practitioners in a religion, or people who aren’t leaders, laypeople, to come to speak [in your class] because they add a valuable perspective of their experience with a particular faith, belief system, or worldview, that students often resonate with, in a way that they don’t necessarily resonate with or receive when it’s coming from a leader… because they see them as the leader, the pastor, the nun, the rabbi, etc.”
The following resources referenced in the webinar provide great curriculum, financial resources, and learning opportunities for educators:
You can listen to the full conversation here.