Over the last few years, the issue of sexual violence has returned to the public spotlight. Movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up have drawn attention to its prevalence in our society, while documentaries like The Hunting Ground and It Happened Here draw attention to its prevalence on our college campuses. Though the public attention is new, the problem is not, and these outcries for change serve as a reminder to recommit our energy to preventing sexual violence and caring for survivors.
University of Iowa is seeking ways to teach about consent and sexual assault prevention. The Campus Culture Project is a living repository of lessons designed to help students think about sexual assault and the cultural narratives that surround it. This repository is designed to be as flexible as possible, acknowledging that different instructors, academic courses, and cohorts of students approach this issue with different knowledge, understanding, questions and needs. We ask only that you do so with care, taking the time to read the “For Instructors” page, with guidelines about how best to approach this subject with your students. We always want these discussions to follow the guidelines of inclusive and equitable pedagogy.
You can view the various lesson plans here organized by difficulty and depth of ideas covered, or if you go to the “Lesson Plans” page above you can search by topics, learning objectives, and core concepts.
For instructors who want to make sexual assault awareness a core part of their classrooms, we’ve put together three different trajectories of lesson plans that can be taught as a unit of a course or interspersed throughout the semester. The two-week curriculum focuses on deconstructing student misconceptions about sexual violence and helping them reconstruct new views that are more sympathetic to survivors and aware of their own power as bystanders. It is best for groups of students that are not exposed much to the issue and might have strong resistance to discussing rape culture. The three-week curriculum is designed for a University of Iowa Rhetoric class. It teaches the rhetorical triangle alongside issues of gender, consent and victim blaming. Finally, the four-week curriculum is designed for students learning how to make their own arguments and advocate their positions. In it students explore the the cultural narratives surrounding sex, gender and power before crafting their own narratives that showcase their views and beliefs.