Difficult Dialogues: Activities That Encourage Constructive Dialogues
1.Reflect on your earliest memory of being different - any difference: skin color, age, body size, sexual preference, cultural background, ethnicity, etc. 2.Draw a picture or jot down words that depict this memory. 3.Reflect on (1) who the messengers were in the memory, (2) what institutions (schools, church, home, etc.) were involved, and (3) what feelings you had about this difference. Record these three things on the bottom of the page. 4.Share your discoveries with your group. 5.Whole class compiles list of three items in #3. Cultural Competence: Steps
1.Do your early memories influence your behavior and interactions? Why or why not? 2.What themes emerged in the discussion that are also present in your work or your environment? 3.Do you believe these behaviors impact your interaction with friends, employees or future students? 4.How do you believe your past experiences impact the larger organization to which you belong (school)? Cultural Competence: Class Discussion
The Paseo works best when a group would like to examine issues of identity, diversity, beliefs and values, and would like to begin making connections between who we are and how that shapes decisions and behaviors. The Paseo: Purpose Adapted from the National School Reform Faculty CRG Institutes 2005-2006
1.Instruct each student to make a web of circles, write his/her name in the center circle and a word or phrase that describes his/her identity (terms or descriptors that have most helped shaped who s/he is and how s/he interacts with the world or words/phrases others use to identify them) in the outer circles. Instructor should model what is intended. 2.Instruct students to form two concentric circles with the members of the outer circle facing inward while the members of the inner circle face outward. An even number of students in each circle is necessary as the dialogue takes place in pairs. 3.Ask the group to think about and respond to a series of questions. 4.Once the question has been stated, everyone will be allowed one minute to come up with a response. The Paseo: Steps
5.At the end of the one-minute thinking time, the instructor will announce the beginning of the round of dialogue. One student in each pair will take turns responding, without interruption. Two minutes for each person should be allocated. If the speaker does not take the full time, students are to remain silent until time has elapsed. 6.At the end of the second partners time, the instructor will ask the group to thank their current partner, say goodbye, and have the inner/outer circle shift to the left/right. 7.Students should take a few moments to greet their new partner. 8.Repeat the process with another question. The Paseo: Steps
With which descriptors do you identify most strongly? Why is that? With which descriptors do others identify you most strongly? How do you fell about that? Describe a time when one of the elements of your identity definitely worked to your advantage, either in your educational experience, or in other areas of your life. Describe a time when one of the elements of your identity appeared to hold you back, either in your education experience, or in other areas of your life. Talk about a time when you noticed an inequity, wished you had said or done something, but did not. Talk about a time when you noticed an inequity and said or did something to address it. The Paseo: Suggested Questions
Ask students to take a few minutes to do a quick-write on what they saw, heard, and felt during the process. Conduct a stand and share/round robin sharing of what each student observed. Afterwards, debrief the exercise. Possible debriefing questions include: What will you do differently as a result of engaging in this dialogue? How will you process the emotions that surfaced for you as a result of this dialogue? How might you adapt this activity and use it in your current/future classroom? The Paseo: Debriefing
Zones of Safety, Risk & Danger: Creating a Zone Map Danger Risk Safety Adapted from the National School Reform Faculty CRG Institutes 2005-2006
1.Instruct students that they will be drawing a diagram of 3 concentric circles. The middle circle is Comfort, the second is Risk, and the third is Danger. 2.Consider the various aspects of your life/situation. Think about the aspects that feel really comfortable to you, those that feel like there is some risk involved, and those aspects that you know make you feel defensive and want to retreat. 3.Decide on the size of each Zone based on your consideration. Do you operate a lot in your Comfort Zone, your Risk Zone? Do you operate only a little in your Danger Zone? Make the size of your Zones reflect the quantity of time you operate there. 4.Create the zone map. 5.Think about the different activities you do and/or affective domains in which you work/learn. Make a list of these activities. 6.Put each activity or affective domain into the Zone that best represents your sense of relative Comfort, Risk or Danger. Zones of Safety, Risk & Danger: Creating a Zone Map
1.Introduce a topic that might result in a difficult dialogue. 2.Have students ponder the topic and recognize any dilemmas they might have regarding the topic. 3.Have students fill out their zone map based on this topic and their possible dilemmas with the topic. 4.Divide students into triads. 5.Have students take turns sharing their zone maps. 6.Have students discuss questions regarding their zone maps and possible dilemmas with the topic. Zones of Safety, Risk & Danger: Zone Map Activity Steps
What zone(s) is the student working from? How, if at all, does his/her dilemma relate to his/her zone map? What might s/he need to know about other classmates Danger Zones? If his/her dilemma is in the Danger Zone (or someone elses) how can s/he move those issues into a Risk or Comfort Zone? How might this movement contribute to solving the dilemma? What would the other people who contribute to or are affected by his/her dilemma say about the dilemma? Zones of Safety, Risk & Danger: Activity Discussion Questions
Paideia Seminar Paideia seminars are: Formal discussion based on a text in which the leader asks only open-ended questions. Within the context of the discussion, students are required to read and study the text carefully, listen closely to the comments of others, think critically for themselves, and articulate both their own thoughts and their responses to the thoughts of others. (Roberts & Billings, 1999, p. 41) Roberts, T.A., & Billings, L. (1999). The Paideia classroom: Teaching for understanding. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education, p. 41.
Paideia Seminar: Steps 1.Arrange students desks in a circle. 2.Tell students that the purpose of the seminar - to discuss what they think are the most pertinent features of the information they have reviewed (article, artifact, photo). 3.Set the ground rules: All students will be given an opportunity to be heard. All students thoughts will be treated with respect. All students should avoid making evaluative statements about the comments of others. If there is a disagreement, textual support will rule. 4.Ask students to take a few minutes to write brief statements about what they thought were some of the most important features of the materials they studied or to record questions they had about the materials. Have students keep this paper on their desks.
Paideia Seminar: Steps (cont.) 5.Ask for a volunteer to start the conversation. If no one volunteers, use a random selection method to call on someone to share what they wrote on their paper. 6.This should spark a conversation. Follow the thread of this thought until it is complete and another one is taken up. 7.Everyone should be allowed to speak, think and ask questions. 8.To conclude, the teacher can ask students to recap some of the major points of the seminar and then discuss the actual procedure itself. Did the students think it went well or that it could be improved? If so, how?