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Sense and Sensitivity

Difference and Diversity in Higher Education Classrooms


Edited By Elisabeth Lillie

This edited volume examines aspects of teaching and learning in situations where community or ethnic division may impact negatively on classroom experience and behaviour in tertiary education. The book considers cases from four locations where marked divisions in the wider society exert a continuing influence on the student body: Northern Ireland, England, France and the United States of America. All of these countries share certain underlying principles of governance and freedom as well as historical interconnections, but have within them particular groups characterized by various levels of separation and distrust. The sociohistorical context relevant to each case is outlined, followed by a discussion of the attitudes, opinions and reactions of the learners concerned. The volume concludes with a consideration of pedagogical approaches that may help to bridge difference and foster a more positive atmosphere. Although this study focuses on particular community environments, the techniques highlighted by contributors may be useful in any classroom setting where a heterogeneous mix of individuals has the potential to lead to dissension and conflict.


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Notes on Contributors


Gill Cressey is currently a Senior Lecturer in Applied Community and Social Studies and a member of the Centre for Excellence in Learning Enhancement at Coventry University. She was previously a Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Birmingham. She has over twenty years’ experience of interactions in multiracial higher education teaching and learning. Seamus Dunn is a former Director of the Centre for the Study of Conf lict at the University of Ulster Coleraine and is now an Emeritus Professor of Conf lict Studies at the university. He has published extensively on a range of aspects of conf lict with particular emphasis on the conf lict in Northern Ireland. Elisabeth Lillie is Emeritus Professor of Language Learning and Teaching at the University of Ulster. One strand of her research focuses on diverse aspects of teaching and learning in higher education on which she has a number of publications. She also has a longstanding interest in the literature and thought of nineteenth-century France, in particular the author Ernest Renan. J. Terrell Lockett has an Associate Degree from Pellissippi State Community College and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in sociology at the University of Cincinnati. His professional work experi- ence includes expertise in the fields of management and human resources. His research focuses on race/ethnicity in social contexts, as well as sexual identity among people of colour. 240 Notes on Contributors Marty Meinardi is a Lecturer in English at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) teaching multicultural...

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