Home » Teachers »

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

Videos of Possible Interest

See MORE VIDEOS...

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
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.
Role play for nonverbal involvement activity Word document presenting a role play exercise in nonverbal communication.
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.
Place to work things out, A Pdf article from Conflict Management in Higher Education Report, Volume 2, Number 4, (July 2002), which presents the idea of personal narrative model of mediation and the work at Oberlin College using this model.
Setting up a dialogue session One page diagram of the steps involved in setting up a dialogue session.
STOP: On-the-spot bullying intervention Word document presenting actions and statements for on-the-spot intervention of bullying behavior.
In the mix lesson plan: Managing anger Web based lesson plan "designed to teach anger management and conflict resolution through the 'I-Message' communication technique and other group activities." Draws on materials provided by PBS's In the Mix program http://to.pbs.org/2sX2aD2
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).
Conversation buddies One page conversation sign up sheet.
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.
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..."
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
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."
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."
CRETE dialogue, day 4 Powerpoint presentation on the art of dialogue.
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).
Fostering Dialogue Across Divides This 183-page pdf from the Public Conversations Project (PCP) provides their definitive guide to conducting successful dialogues on the most heated topics. The guide is based on PCP's experiences working in many different settings and on a wide range of topics, including abortion, foresting practices, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, sexual orientation and the teachings of Christian scripture, the war in Iraq, interfaith and interethnic relations, and social class differences. Chapters 1 and 2 provide an overview of PCP’s ways of thinking about dialogue and their core principles and practices. In Chapters 3 through 6, they offer specific advice on each phase in the dialogue process. And in Appendices A through C, they present detailed sample formats, questions, invitations, and handouts that exemplify the principles and practices described in the body of the document. Note: This guide is also available in spanish via www.publicconversations.org/resources/guides
Creating Spaces for Dialogue - A Role for Civil Society This manuscript is published by Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) as part of a new GPPAC Dialogue and Mediation series. The stories presented in the book are authored by GPPAC network members who initiated a conversation between communities and societies polarised and divided as a result of conflict. Each story shows how civil society plays a vital role in rebuilding trust and enabling collaborations. The authors describe how the dialogue processes unfolded, and share resulting lessons and observations. They also present their views on the questions that need to be addressed in designing a meaningful process. Is there such a thing as the most opportune moment to initiate a dialogue? Who should introduce the process? How is the process of participant selection approached, and what are the patterns of relationship transformation? Lastly, what follows once confidence and trust have been established? The stories include civil society contributions to normalising inter-state relations between the US and Cuba, and Russia and Georgia and chronicles of community dialogues between Serbians and Albanians in Serbia and Kosovo, and Christians and Muslims in Indonesia.
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.
Learning to Live Together: An intercultural and interfaith programme for ethics education Learning to Live Together is an interfaith and intercultural programme for Ethics Education that contributes to nurturing ethical values in children and young people. The programme was developed by the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children in close collaboration with UNESCO and UNICEF and tested through the Global Network of Religions for Children to contribute to the realization of the Right of the Child to full and healthy physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development, and to education as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), in article 26.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), in the World Declaration on Education for all and in the Millennium Development Goals. Learning to Live Together is a programme for educators (teachers, youth leaders, social workers) to nurture ethical values and spirituality in children and youth that will help them strengthen their identity and critical thinking, ability to make well grounded decisions, respect and work with people of other cultures and religions, and foster their individual and collective responsibilities in a global community. Learning to Live Together is built in two modules, “Understanding Self and Others” and “Transforming the World together”. It is based on four ethical values: respect, empathy, responsibility and reconciliation. The learning process focuses on methodologies based on experience, cooperation, problem solving, discussions and introspection. Additional materials and versions in other languages are available at http://www.ethicseducationforchildren.org