"If I'm not challenging your world view...I'm not doing my job" | Deb Mashek, Heterodox Academy

Did you ever stay quiet in a college classroom in fear of rustling feathers?

If so, the Heterodox Academy wants you to know you’re not alone. Founded in 2015, Heterodox is a non-partisan network of over 2,500 academics across the country that are committed to welcoming a diversity of viewpoints in the classroom. They’re fighting the good fight to promote constructive disagreement (not antonyms!) at institutes of higher learning.

We spoke with their executive director, Deb Mashek, about their important work and about two elements that are critical to learning: discomfort and challenge. Mashek herself is a former college professor and spent 13 years as a Professor of Psychology at Harvey Mudd College. Inspired by the 2016 election, she developed a course entitled I’m Right; You’re Wrong. In this episode, Mashek shares some of her experiences in the classroom and offers a fun take on how secret decoder glasses can help us get in the right frame of mind to understand each other!

I don’t think learning can take place in the absence of discomfort and challenge. If I’m not challenging your world view...then I’m not doing my job as a teacher.
— Deb Mashek

Audrey Scagnelli