Engagement in Classroom Activities for the Teaching of Family Theories

Concurrent Sessions 2

Melissa Curran, Suzanne R. Smith, Katherine Allen, April L. Few-Demo, Kate Kuvalanka, Ramona Oswald; Co-chairs: Melissa Curran, April Few-Demo; Facilitator: Melissa Curran

10:00 AM
11:15 AM
Salon 11
Session #
Session Type
Session Focus
  • Practice
Organized By
  • Advancing Family Science

About the Session

  • 121-01 - Ambiguous Loss: How Not all Losses Can be Resolved and How to Create New Family Meaning
    By Melissa Curran
  • 121-02 - Using Case Studies Based on Your Research to Teach Conflict Theory
    By Suzanne R. Smith
  • 121-03 - Feminist Theory: Understanding Power, Privilege, and Activist Scholarship
    By Katherine Allen
  • 121-04 - The Personal is Political! Using Case Studies and Current Events to Teach Intersectionality Theory
    By April L. Few-Demo
  • 121-05 - Queer Theory: Engaging Students to Think Beyond Binaries and Privilege
    By Melissa Curran, Kate Kuvalanka, Ramona Oswald

Co-chairs: Melissa Curran, April Few-Demo
Facilitator: Melissa Curran


Teaching of family theories is often met with opposition from students (e.g., information is too abstract and not relatable to their personal or professional lives). Our goal in this symposium is to illustrate the importance and usefulness of five distinct theories in family studies and human development: Ambiguous Loss, Conflict, Feminism, Intersectionality, and Queer Theories. For each theory, we present a variety of engagement activities (e.g., individual writing for comprehension, followed by paired or group discussion; case studies) that instructors in various disciplines can easily implement into their classroom teaching of family theories to enhance students' active learning.


1. Attendees will learn knowledge about family theories, some of which they know about already (e.g., ambiguous loss) and some of which may me new (e.g., intersectionality). 2. Attendees will learn how to implement various engagement activities for each of the theories into their own classes. 3. Attendees will think critically about their own teaching of family theories and how they can best engage students in their classes.

Bundle name
Conference Session