The Myth of the 50-Minute Epiphany: #MeToo and Implications for Teaching




gender, lesson study project, sexual assault, political polarization


Because university campuses are microcosms of broader political and social climates, the increasingly polarized climates outside universities can permeate the classroom, challenging faculty who teach topics characterized by controversy and discomfort. We conducted a lesson study project at a college in the southeastern United States in three first-year courses from different disciplines to examine how the broader tensions of the #MeToo movement emerged and affected a class activity focused on gender. We sought to understand our students’ responses to a moment of discomfort generated by discussions of sexual roles, consent, and assault—issues that are relevant in both this cultural moment and in the lives of many first-year college students. We observed responses ranging from affirmation to resistance in what felt at times like our own failure. Without this collaboration, each of us may have been left with a narrower view of what the students learned and an incomplete sense of our own work. What began as an investigation into students’ transformative learning experiences ended as a transformative experience in our own understanding of the acts of teaching and the complexities of student learning.

Click here to read the corresponding ISSOTL blog post.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Emily Russell, Rollins College

Emily Russell is the Kenneth Curry Professor of Literature at Rollins College (USA). She is the author of Transplant Fictions: A Cultural Study of Organ Exchange (2019) and Reading Embodied Citizenship: Disability, Narrative, and the Body Politic (2011). From 2017–2020, she served as the associate dean of academics and directed general education.

Nolan Kline, University of North Texas

Nolan Kline is an applied medical anthropologist whose research focuses on social and political determinants of health among Latinx immigrants and sexual and gender minorities. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. His book, Pathogenic Policing: Immigration Enforcement and Health in the US South (Rutgers University Press) was released in 2019.

Amy I. McClure, Rollins College

Amy I. McClure is associate professor and current chair of the sociology department at Rollins College (USA). She has published research on secular and pagan parenting in the Bible Belt, religion, and pedagogy. She is currently working on two new research projects examining the experiences of lower income college students as well as gender in secular parenting.

Steven W. Schoen, Rollins College

Steve Schoen is associate professor of critical media and cultural studies at Rollins College (USA). His published work examines the rhetoric of documentary and documentary theory.

Nancy L. Chick, Rollins College

Nancy L. Chick is director of faculty development at Rollins College (USA). She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and book chapters on the results of SoTL projects and on the field of SoTL, and has edited and co-edited multiple books on SoTL and signature pedagogies. She was the founding co-editor of TLI and ISSOTL co-president in 2020–2021.


Bennet, Jessica, and Daniel Jones. 2018. “45 Stories of Sex and Consent.” The New York Times, 10 May 2018.

Blair, Erik. 2013. “The Challenge of Contextualising the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.” Teaching & Learning Inquiry 1 (1): 127–30.

Brookfield, Stephen D. 1995. Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Campbell, Margaret, Charlotta Löfgren-Mårtenson, and Alan Santinele Martino. 2020. “Cripping Sex Education.” Sex Education 20 (4): 361–65.

Cerbin, Bill. 2011. Lesson Study: Using Classroom Inquiry to Improve Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Chng, Huang Hoon, and Peter Looker. 2013. “On the Margins of SoTL Discourse: An Asian Perspective.” Teaching & Learning Inquiry 1 (1): 131–45.

Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2000. Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement.

DeTemple, Jill, and John Sarrouf. 2017. “Disruption, Dialogue, and Swerve.” Teaching Theology & Religion 20 (3): 283–92.

De Zutter, Andre W. E. A., Robert Horselenberg, and Peter J. van Koppen. 2017. “The Prevalence of False Allegations of Rape in the United States from 2006-2010.” Journal of Forensic Psychology 2 (2).

Edwards, Sarah R., Kathryn A. Bradshaw, and Verlin B. Hinsz. 2014. “Denying Rape but

Endorsing Forceful Intercourse: Exploring Differences Among Responders.” Violence and Gender 1 (4): 188–93.

Fallon, Dianne. 2016. “‘Lucky to Live in Maine’: Examining Student Responses to Diversity Issues.” Teaching English in the Two-Year College 33 (4): 410–20.

Fan, Yanan, L. J. Shepherd, Eve Slavich, D. Waters, M. Stone, Rachel Abel, and Emma L. Johnston. 2019. “Gender and Cultural Bias in Student Evaluations: Why Representation Matters.” Plos ONE 14 (2).

Federal Student Aid. n.d. “Federal Pell Grants are Usually Awarded Only to Undergraduate Students.” Accessed 7 March 2022.

Felten, Peter. 2013. “Principles of Good Practice in SoTL.” Teaching & Learning Inquiry 1 (1): 121–25.

Fitzgerald, Kathleen J., and Kandice L. Grossman. 2018. Sociology of Sexualities. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Gannon, Kevin. 2020. Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press.

Katz, Jackson. 2006. The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks.

Land, Ray, Jan F. K. Meyer, and Caroline Baillie. 2010. “Editor’s Preface: Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning.” In Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning, edited by Ray Land, Jan F. K. Meyer, and Caroline Baillie, ix–xlii. Boston: Sense.

Lang, James. 2016. Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Lewis, Catherine, Rebecca Perry, and Aki Murata. 2006. “How Should Research Contribute to Instructional Improvement? The Case of Lesson Study.” Educational Researcher 35 (3): 3–14.

Lukianoff, Greg, and Jonathan Haidt. 2018. The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure. New York: Penguin.

McGarry, Robert. 2013. “Build a Curriculum that Includes Everyone.” Phi Delta Kappan 94 (5): 27–31.

Pan, Steven C. 2015. “The Interleaving Effect: Mixing It Up Boosts Learning.” Scientific American, 4 Aug 2015.

Perkins, D. N., Richard Allen, and James Hafner. 1983. “Difficulties in Everyday Reasoning.” In Thinking: The Expanding Frontier, edited by William Maxwell, 177–89. Philadelphia, PA: The Franklin Institute Press.

Saldaña, Johnny. 2013. The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. Los Angeles: Sage.

Schwalbe, Michael, Sandra Godwin, Daphne Holden, Douglas Schrock, Shealy Thompson, and Michele Wolkomir. 2000. “Generic Processes in the Reproduction of Inequality: An Interactionist Analysis.” Social Forces 79 (2): 419–52.

Shulman, Lee S. 2014. “Value of Contextualized Work and Aggregated SoTL Data.” Center for Engaged Learning Youtube Channel.

Strayhorn, Terrell L. 2019. College Students’ Sense of Belonging: A Key to Educational Success for All Students. Routledge.

Tolley, Elizabeth E., Priscilla R. Ulin, Natasha Mack, Elizabeth T. Robinson, Stacey M. Succop. 2016. Qualitative Methods in Public Health: A Field Guide for Applied Research. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.

“Transcript: Donald Trump’s Taped Comments About Women.” 2016. New York Times, October 8, 2016.

Wade, Lisa. 2017. American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Wahman, M. Lauren, Amber Burkett Peplow, Rita Kumar, Brenda Refaei. 2020. “Benefits of Using Lesson Study for SoTL, Cross-Disciplinary Research, and Assessment.” International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 14 (1): 2.

Wooten, Sara Carrigan. 2017. “Revealing a Hidden Curriculum of Black Women’s Erasure in Sexual Violence Prevention Policy.” Gender and Education 29 (3): 405–17.

A white board in a classroom with two columns labeled "Men" and "Women." The "women" column lists many things women do to protect themselves, while the "men" column has one word: "nothing."




How to Cite

Russell, Emily, Nolan Kline, Amy McClure, Steven Schoen, and Nancy Chick. 2023. “The Myth of the 50-Minute Epiphany: #MeToo and Implications for Teaching”. Teaching and Learning Inquiry 11 (August).