silhouette of an argument

Discussions on Divisive Topics

Classroom discussions can be exciting, invigorating, and provide students with opportunities to connect, not only to your content, but to each other and you as the professor. Sometimes though, topics can be divisive or challenging to address. Maintaining and encouraging civil discourse can be challenging. Recently, The Chronicle of Higher Education approached this very topic with an article on a classroom strategy called “Reflective Structured Dialogue.” With this approach conversations begin first with a story rather than an opinion. There is a story behind why we have our opinions that we do, this approach has us share that story rather than the opinion itself. A story about how or why they have the opinion helps frame our opinions and starts the conversation on a more personal and respectful level. Read the full article here at The Chronicle.

If you want to learn more about Reflective Structured Dialogue watch this webinar offered by American Library Associations.