The Professor: Rebecca Winkel
The Course: Social Psychology
When Rebecca Winkel, a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies, began taking her daughter to Tompkins Square Park in the East Village, she was dismayed to find that parents and children tended to self-segregate, with black children playing in one playground, and white children playing in a separate playground on the other side of the park. In her Social Psychology course, she had her students read studies that show that there are many ways to minimize self-segregation and bring together groups that have a history of tension. Then, she challenged her students to design playgrounds that use these practical ways of bringing people together and getting them to spend time together, thus reducing tensions between them.
Text and Production: Abigail Beshkin
Video and Production: Jonathan Weitz