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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
Setting up a dialogue session One page diagram of the steps involved in setting up a dialogue session.
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).
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.
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
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
CRETE dialogue, day 4 Powerpoint presentation on the art of dialogue.
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."
I Painted Peace: Handbook on Peace Building with and for Children and Young People This 72-page illustrated handbook has been designed and developed together with children and young people for children and young people. It is, however, also meant to be of use and interest to adults. The children and young people involved in the production of this handbook would like to promote, build and sustain peace in their local communities, schools, districts, and nations. The handbook may be most suitable for children and young people aged 12 years and upwards. The idea behind this handbook is to encourage more adults to listen to girls' and boys' voices carefully and seriously and to work with them as partners in creating and sustaining peace. In this way, the handbook helps to promote children's participation leading to the better fulfilment of children's rights. Children's contributions are presented in the following sections: - Children's visions on peace - Children's understanding of peace building - Children's understanding of the history and the impact of conflict - Opportunities for children's participation in peace building at different levels (individual, family, children's organisation, school, community, district, national, international) - including examples of activities and the impact of children's participation at these different levels; - Assessment of what helps and gets in the way of children's peace building efforts - Recommendations and proposals to strengthen children's role as agents of peace
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
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."
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.
Role play for nonverbal involvement activity Word document presenting a role play exercise in nonverbal communication.
Conversation buddies One page conversation sign up sheet.