Workshop D: Microaggressions in the Classroom Setting

Microaggressions in the Classroom Setting


Sonia Ananthakrishnan, MD,1 Vonzella Bryant, MD,2 Priya Garg, MD,3 and Megan McGrath, MD2

Departments of 1Medicine, 2Emergency Medicine, and 2Pedicatrics

Boston University School of Medicine


Confronting microaggressions is challenging, yet it is an imperative in maintaining a healthy learning environment. Faculty, now more than ever, need to be able to respond to student identified microaggressions in the classroom and adjacent settings. In this workshop we will introduce participants to a tool, known as ‘LIFT’ (Lights on, Impact vs. Intent, Full stop-disarm, and Teach and Talk), that can be utilized when responding to microaggressions in the classroom and clinical environment. The session will use common scenarios of challenges experienced by faculty while teaching in the classroom. Small group discussion will be used to facilitate dialogue, promote sharing of experiences and facilitators will provide language and best practices for building skills in responding to these critical moments in and adjacent to the learning environment.

Target Audience:

Course educators and other faculty leaders who routinely work in the classroom setting

Workshop Audience:

The target audience for this workshop is student and trainee educators, including course directors and teaching faculty who are interested in improving the way microaggressions are identified and handled in and adjacent to the classroom.

Learning objectives:

1. Define microaggressions
2. Discuss how to respond to student-identified microaggressions in and adjacent to (e.g. course evaluation forms) the classroom
3. Practice applying LIFT framework with education-based vignettes
*Please note : For those who have attended portions of this curriculum in the past, these cases have been updated to focus on the classroom and Zoom based teaching, as of February 2021

Session Outline:

Part 1: 20 minutes

Introduction- (5 minutes)
Large group discussion- Definition of microaggressions, review of the difference between impact and intent and introduction of LIFT tool (15 minutes)
Breakout rooms and Small group discussion: (25 minutes)

This will include

1) Review of common scenarios in small group format (breakouts)
2) Utilization of LIFT tool related to each scenario
3) Debrief scenario and peer feedback

Large group debrief and Q and A – Sharing and review of tips and best practices to address microaggressions in the (zoom) classroom (5 minutes)-