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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
STOP: On-the-spot bullying intervention Word document presenting actions and statements for on-the-spot intervention of bullying behavior.
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."
Role play for nonverbal involvement activity Word document presenting a role play exercise in nonverbal communication.
Social Justice Standards The Social Justice Standards are a set of anchor standards and age-appropriate learning outcomes divided into four domains—identity, diversity, justice and action (IDJA). The standards provide a common language and organizational structure: Teachers can use them to guide curriculum development, and administrators can use them to make schools more just, equitable and safe. The standards are leveled for every stage of K–12 education and include school-based scenarios to show what anti-bias attitudes and behavior may look like in the classroom.
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.
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.
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).
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."
Democratic Dialogue - A Handbook for Practitioners This 262-page pdf provides a collection of information and advice from experienced dialogue practitioners and includes numerous international examples to illustrate key ideas. "The Handbook on Democratic Dialogue has been a joint effort of The Canadian International Development Association (CIDA), International IDEA, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), receiving valuable input from a wider network of organizations. This Handbook has been designed to reflect current practice in the field of dialogue and to draw on concrete experiences of practitioners in various regions and of various actors involved in these processes. It seeks to consolidate emerging learning – both in terms of the conceptual framework supporting dialogue, and practical experiences in the design, facilitation and assessment of such processes on the ground. It also offers a comprehensive mapping of the process tools that can be used to support dialogue initiatives, thereby expanding the toolbox currently available to practitioners."
Kids Working It Out Resource Appendix A listing of books, publications and websites provided in the appendix to Tricia S. Jones and Randy O. Compton (Eds.) 2003 book Kids Working It Out: Stories and Strategies for Making Peace in Our Schools.
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.
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
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.
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
CRETE dialogue, day 4 Powerpoint presentation on the art of dialogue.
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
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).
Setting up a dialogue session One page diagram of the steps involved in setting up a dialogue session.
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."
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."