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Dialogue Programs

Dialogue is a process in which people or groups involved in serious conflict share information in order to create better understanding. Dialogue programs used in schools, usually in high schools, teach the dialogue process to students to help them talk through contentious issues like interracial or interethnic conflicts among groups of students. The goal of dialogue is a transformation of the relationship or system of communication in which parties are engaged. In dialogue students may not change opinions, but may undergo a radical shift in how they view self, other, and the relationship.
In order for dialogue to be effective, it has to be well facilitated to create a safe and respectful place for talk. It assumes that participants will learn and use effective listening skills. Many dialogue programs use guidelines for the process including the following:
• We will speak for ourselves and from our own experience
• We will not criticize the views of other participants or attempt to persuade them
• We will listen with resilience, hanging in when it is hard to hear
• We will participate within the time frames suggested by the facilitator
• We will not interrupt
• We will pass if we do not wish to speak

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Sample Catalog Resources

Below you'll find a randomized listing of up to 20 related items (we may have more...) drawn from our Resource Catalog.

Resource Title Description Links
Learn Peace : How students can rid the world of nuclear weapons Produced by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, this colorfully illustrated 43-page pdf provides a collection of 18 disarmament education activities for use by young people. It is written in a voice that speaks directly to youth, encouraging them to learn more and take action to call for the elimination of nuclear weapons. The activity titles are as follows: Have a classroom debate; Organize a writing competition; Write a letter to the editor; Make up your mind; Design a peace symbol; Role-play a nuclear crisis; Transform a nuclear bomb ; Honour the victims; Run a United Nations debate; Fold paper cranes for peace; Celebrate the victories; Write to your leaders; Promote abolition online; Hold a trivia night; Describe a nuclear blast; Conduct an opinion poll; Meet with your mayor; Plant sunflowers for peace.
Tolerance: the threshold of peace: A teaching/learning guide for education for peace, human rights 42-page PDF document which was "prepared to serve as an introductory resource material, to provide some understanding of what is involved in and required of education for tolerance. It provides a statement of the problems of intolerance, a rationale for teaching toward the goal of tolerance, and concepts and descriptions for identifying both the problems and the goals ... Each chapter of the guide comprises material that can be used for study and discussion on issues of tolerance and peace. Organizations, groups and formal classes of secondary level and above can explore together the issues raised and problems identified..."
Role play : The power of dialogue fact sheet Pdf document that presents a role play dialogue between the parent of a middle school child, a middle school teacher and a principle, with background information on characters and a case overview.
Developing departmental communication protocols Pdf article from Conflict Management in Higher Education Report, Volume 4, Number 1, (Oct. 2003), which presents the concept of a "Communication Protocol [which] is a set of guidelines for day-to-day communication and informal problem solving developed in a mediation context involving a group of co-workers, these Protocols are most effective when developed with the full participation of both staff and management, although difficult to achieve, in academic units the chair needs to participate, the more inclusive the group, the more the Protocol will reflect the culture and norms of the organization."
Youth Leadership Development Module on Conflict Management This 38-page pdf on conflict management strategies for youth leaders was provided as a handout for a May 2008 training for youth in Namibia. The event was sponsored by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and facilitated by C.T. Bayer & B.T. Schernick. The materials include several creative visualizations of conflict resolution concepts.
Issues under the hat Web-based interactive resource which presents a scenario that "will weigh a school policy in this case disallowing students to wear hats in the classroom against good reasons why in some situations a hat could be allowable. At one point during the scenario, [the participant] will be asked to choose of three available options that might lead to a win-win solution or to further problems for both the student and the teacher."
STOP: On-the-spot bullying intervention Word document presenting actions and statements for on-the-spot intervention of bullying behavior.
Be Civil! The Search for Civility This classroom resource was developed as part of the Catholic Schools Opposing Racism (COR) initiative, which ran for eight years (2000-2008) in the Chicago Illinois area. It is part of a much larger collection of materials available at http://racebridgesforschools.com
Ways of Peace - URI Youth 4 Unity Brochure This illustrated foldable brochure was created by the youth wing of the United Religions Initiative (URI) Peacemakers' Circle CC in the Philippines - Youth 4 Unity - as a way to share expressions of the Golden Rule in different religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions. It also shares simple ways to practice inner peace, harmony with others and healing of the Earth.
How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk Document summarizing Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish's work of the same title, with instructions to increase listening skills, help children deal with feelings, provide praise and use alternatives to punishment, with role playing exercises.
Dialogue Powerpoint presentation on dialogue, the process of sharing information to create better understanding between people and groups.
Setting up a dialogue session One page diagram of the steps involved in setting up a dialogue session.
Teaching and learning in circle Pdf article from Conflict Management in Higher Education Report, Volume 3, Number 2, (February 2003), which "explores the impact of teaching using a circle format, both at the high school and college level."
Role play for nonverbal involvement activity Word document presenting a role play exercise in nonverbal communication.
Math teacher's perspective on infusion: "Let the kids do the talking" Pdf document with personal experience of teacher helping students discuss and share solution strategies to mathematical problems. Written above title on document: NCIP (National Curriculum Integration Project).
VOV activities: Understanding the value of dialog, grades 7-12 13-page PDF document with a number of activities to aid secondary students in improving communication skills.
VOV activities: Strengthening your sense of self-identity, grades 7-12 8-page PDF document with activities for 7-12 graders to build communication skills and self-esteem.
Managing interethnic relations manual 104-page manual whose purpose is to fill the informational and methodological gap in addressing interethnic relations, it also intends to combat the passive attitudes held by many regarding the improvement of interethnic relations in Georgia, the book is meant for all specialists working on the issue of interethnic relations or those intending to focus on it, includes bibliography.
Integrated lessons: Collection from the National Curriculum Integration Project Pdf document presenting a series of lessons for both language arts and social studies classes which examine conflict, explore positive solutions and examine how issues of culture and bias, social and emotional learning and law related education impact conflict and its resolution. Written above title on document: NCIP (National Curriculum Integration Project).
Diving In: A Handbook for Improving Race Relations on College Campuses A how-to guide for setting up a Sustained Dialogue process on a campus. The authors draw on their experiences developing a program at Princeton University using a model developed by Harold Saunders. From the introduction: "Sustained Dialogue is a process for improving relationships within a community that are strained along racial or ethnic lines. Its approach focuses on probing the dynamics of troubled community relationships to better understand them and formulate actions for improving them. A relationship exists between two groups of people when one group positively or negatively impacts the lives of the other over time. By bringing together concerned community members from all sides of contentious relationships, Sustained Dialogue, under the guidance of a moderator, allows participants to explore their problems in a nonconfrontational setting. This is not a form of mediation or negotiation in which two sides attempt to come to an agreement. Instead, it is a cooperative exercise in which all participants share their own views and experiences and attempt to learn from others."