The Chronicle of Higher Education
August 26th, 2014
As college students return to classrooms in St. Louis this week, many will find that lesson plans have been hastily revised to include sensitive issues of race and policing that were ignited by the fatal shooting on August 9 of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer in the suburb of Ferguson, Mo.
On Monday, as thousands of mourners gathered nearby for Michael Brown’s funeral, area college students were engaging in conversations about racial profiling, the use of force, and tensions caused by economic disparities. The links were obvious in fields like criminal justice and sociology, where professors were able to put a familiar face on their case studies. But faculty members in education, English, history, and a wide range of other disciplines also saw teaching opportunities in a tragedy that has gripped the nation and prompted calls for change. The Chronicle talked with local professors about how they planned to tackle such issues in the classroom. Following are four examples of their plans, in their own words.