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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
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.
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."
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.
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..."
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
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.
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
Dialogue Powerpoint presentation on dialogue, the process of sharing information to create better understanding between people and groups.
Conversation buddies One page conversation sign up sheet.
Promoting SEAL through circle time 7-page PDF document promoting Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning through circle time for secondary students. "Circle time sessions provide a potential vehicle for the classroom delivery of the SEAL curriculum. Circle time is a time set aside each week when a whole class of young people and their teacher sit in a circle and explicitly engage in a structured programme of games, experiential activities, discussion and relaxation strategies ... It aims to provide an emotionally safe forum for participants to engage with a range of key issues, including peer relationships, conflict resolution, shared goal setting, justice, friendship, democratic principles, respect for individual differences and freedom of choice."
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."
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.
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.
STOP: On-the-spot bullying intervention Word document presenting actions and statements for on-the-spot intervention of bullying behavior.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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).
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."