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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
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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."
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.
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).
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.
Role play for nonverbal involvement activity Word document presenting a role play exercise in nonverbal communication.
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.
Conversation buddies One page conversation sign up sheet.
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
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.
CRETE dialogue, day 4 Powerpoint presentation on the art of dialogue.
Dialogue Powerpoint presentation on dialogue, the process of sharing information to create better understanding between people and groups.
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.
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."