In this essay we explore a participation paradox associated with high-order learning. The greater the complexity and emotionality of the material, the more dangerous it becomes to participate in classroom discussions. We discuss the tensions involved with trying to balance building “safe spaces” and critical thinking capacity and examine those “moments of difficulty” when comfort and evaluation collide. Baxter Magolda’s four strategies that promote holistic learning are used to analyze the results from a focus group of ten graduating seniors. Results are discussed in the context of strategies to enhance student learning through the implementation of safe spaces that enhance critical thinking.
Gayle, Barbara Mae Dr.; Cortez, Derek; and Preiss, Raymond W.
"Safe Spaces, Difficult Dialogues, and Critical Thinking,"
International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning:
2, Article 5.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2013.070205