Intergroup Dialogue for Civil Discourse in Schools

Intergroup Dialogue for Civil Discourse in Schools

Student-Centered Training and Programs

This program seeks to integrate social justice and equity focused philosophy and practice into district schools and classrooms through the research-based practice of Intergroup Dialogue. 

Intergroup Dialogues are a series of small group, co-facilitated, carefully structured experiences that encourage relational dialogue rather than debate while exploring social group identity, conflict, community, and equity. Each dialogue involves engaging identity as a way to build the skills required to authentically dialogue about race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic class, gender, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, and/or national origin.

Intergroup Dialogue can prepare our students for lifelong SEL learning while providing a common language and starting point from which to address our different identities in constructive ways.

At the core of intergroup dialogue work is the belief that young people can and should play a role in creating change in their communities. The program is also rooted in the values of teamwork and intercultural, intergroup engagement.

The 3 stage process:

  • Stage 1: Students participate in a 5-session intergroup dialogue that is co-facilitated by experienced dialogue facilitators. Each dialogue session will have no more than 16 students and 1 or 2 faculty members who participate in the dialogue with the students.
  • Stage 2: Train students peer-facilitators to co-facilitate sustained peer-led dialogues at their school about “hot topics” or topics that many community members find to be divisive (e.g. politics, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, class, etc.).
  • Stage 3: Support student peer-facilitators to co-facilitate a 5-session dialogue for their peers.

Example intergroup dialogue session outline:

  • Session I     Teambuilding & Creating a Shared Meaning of Dialogue (1.5 hours)
  • Session II    Perspective Taking and Self-Awareness (2 hours)
  • Session III   Applying Skills of Civic Discourse (2 hours)
  • Session IV  Applying Skills of Civic Discourse (2 hours)
  • Session V   Reflection, Appreciation, and Evaluation ( 1.5 hours)
For more information, contact: 
Director of Professional Services
413.586.4900 x5926