The question “what’s weird about where you’re from?” can open students’ sociological imaginations and introduce them to “social facts” using public data. This exercise from Evan Stewart (2020) helps students connect their lives to social/historical context and think about research methods.

Amy Traver (2016) re-emphasizes the link between college and career as she assesses and makes suggestions for integrating vocational skills into introduction to sociology courses at a community college.

Teaching about whiteness, gender, or intersectional inequality in higher education? Consider this interview with public sociologist extraordinaire, Tressie McMillan Cottom, on the #BamaRush phenomenon or her NYT op-ed on the enduring power of blond.

Michael Burawoy describes service-learning as the prototype for teaching public sociology. However, it also runs the risk of reinforcing issues of power between the university and the community. Using the CISER model, Greenberg, London, and McKay (2019) discuss how to flip the script on capital and better engage first-generation and working-class students in service experiences.

Intrigued by Sarah Shannon’s Class Note on ungrading? Check out New Books in Sociology’s recent podcast episode on “Off the Mark: How Grades, Ratings, & Rankings Undermine Learning (but Don’t Have To)” by Jack Schneider & Ethan Hutt.

Doom and gloom approaches to teaching climate change can foster anxiety, depression, and withdrawal from students. Instructors can work against that by being honest and sensitive, while inspiring service learning, argues Obach (2023).

How do we get students to think about time as a social and political construct? Dawn Lyon (2023) invites students to reflect on how time relates to inequality, capitalism, and power in an accessible and easy to implement set of class exercises.

Looking for activities that engage your students in public sociology? The “Making Sociology Public Activity” by Hollie Nyseth and Kia Heise (2010) requires students to interpret and write about existing research for non-sociologists. The activity helps combat the disconnect between research and the public.

Sociologist Zachary Levenson reflects on his recent move to Florida, teaching sociology in the context of political censorship and how university labor unions can help protect our classrooms and students from political interference while ensuring the right to public education.

“[I]t’s very easy to use AI to do the lion’s share of the thinking while still submitting work that looks like your own” explains undergrad Owen Kichizo Terry in a fascinating first person account of using AI, published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.