Go to top


flip side logo

Using The Flip Side in the Classroom

Annafi Wahed is the founder and EIC of The Flip Side. Readers can follow Annafi and The Flip Side on Twitter @AnnafiWahed, @KnowTheFlipSide In today’s hyper-partisan world, it’s a small comfort to know that Democrats and Republicans at least agree about their disagreements. In a recent survey, 81% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents and 76%..

open inquiry

10 steps professors can take this semester to promote open inquiry and constructive disagreement in their classrooms

Debra Mashek is Heterodox Academy’s Executive Director. She has a PhD in Social Health and Psychology (with a concentration in Quantitative Methods) from State University of New York at Stony Brook and served as a Professor in Psychology at Harvey Mudd College. Add language to your syllabi that makes clear open inquiry and constructive disagreement..

Free Intelligent Conversation

“Free Intelligent Conversation” as a Pedagogical Tool

Kyle Emile is the founder of Free Intelligent Conversation. Free Intelligent Conversation (FreeIC) is a nonprofit organization that facilitates engaging conversations between strangers. It’s simple: participants simply go to public places and hold up signs that read “Free Intelligent Conversation,” inviting people to talk with them about anything and everything. The conversations are then kicked-off..

controversial topics

Don’t Avoid Controversial Topics. Use Them!

Mark Urista is a Communication faculty member at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, Oregon. He advises the college’s BridgeUSA chapter and is currently working on a faculty fellowship that aims to promote viewpoint diversity.   Like many faculty members, there are times in class when I joyfully watch students actively engage in constructive disagreement. Unfortunately,..

foxes hedgehogs

Prepare Students to Be Foxes, Not Hedgehogs

  Ilana R. Akresh is an Associate Professor in the Sociology department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In his oft-quoted 1953 essay, Isaiah Berlin draws upon a reference to the Greek philosopher Archilochus, translated as: a fox knows many things, but a hedgehog one big thing. Although the original essay was primarily focused..

ESL and Viewpoint Diversity

This is the second post in our Teaching Heterodoxy series.

By Dr. Cory Holland, Worcester State University

The following activity occurred in the context of an English as a Second Language (ESL) writing class for international students hoping to matriculate in US universities. This particular class was evenly split between students from China and students from Saudi Arabia, a detail that will become important shortly. Students in this class are at a high-intermediate level of English proficiency and are learning to write short essays in genres common to introductory university classes.

syllabus cup

Syllabus Language to Support Viewpoint Diversity

There’s broad agreement that the syllabus is a contract of sorts that spells out expectations, policies, and pathways through the inquiry at hand.  Equally important, I ask my syllabus to set the tone for the entire course. I pick my words carefully, hoping to signal my and my students’ reciprocal roles in the processes of teaching and learning. As students and faculty alike navigate ideological polarization, tribalism, and hostility, it feels especially important to get this tone-setting document right.

rigorous inclusion

Rigorous Intentional Inclusion

Marisela Martinez-Cola is a doctoral student in sociology at Emory University and instructor of sociology at Oglethorpe University. “What would you say if I told you I own a gun?” This is how I began a lecture called “The Soap Operas of Sociology” for my Introduction to Sociology course. After a brief pause, I was..