Zito, associate professor of sociology, publishes chapter on teaching crime and deviance within the sociology curriculum.
Associate Professor of Sociology Rena Zito recently published a chapter on developing and teaching crime- and deviance-related courses within a sociology curriculum. The chapter appears in the Handbook of Teaching and Learning in Sociology, edited by Sergio Cabrera and Stephen Sweet.
Zito’s chapter walks novice and seasoned sociology instructors through the process of designing (or redesigning) a sociology of crime or deviance course rooted in best practices for engaged learning. The chapter begins with an exploration of what constitutes a uniquely sociological perspective on crime and deviance. Drawing heavily from scholarship on teaching and learning (SoTL), Zito details classroom strategies that develop higher-order skills in analyzing crime data and critically evaluating definitions of and responses to crime and deviance. She also includes specific strategies for fostering empathy and reflection in the classroom, as well as creating inclusive environments for the discussion of sensitive topics—all of which are important for students generally, and future criminal justice professionals particularly.
Zito served as the criminology/delinquency area editor for the American Sociological Association’s TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology for six years. She drew heavily on her experience as a TRAILS area editor and TRAILS author in crafting the chapter as well as her recently published textbook, Engaged Criminology: An Introduction (SAGE Publications).