There are a couple ways to decide which books to read: Let anyone propose a book, then have the club vote on the options. GROUND RULES for Small Group Discussion SAFE GROUP: We will all do our part to create an environment where everyone can be real, open and honest with their struggles and victories. Some rules that my class established were. Such ground rules are especially important when discussing controversial or otherwise challenging topics. Ground rules facilitate engagement and interaction, fostering a positive learning environment and a supportive classroom community. Take responsibility for your own learning. For example, in a dialogue about race, white participants will often support ground rules meant to keep anger out of the discussion--ground rules focused keeping them comfortable. hooks is author of several books, including Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom (New York: Routledge, 1994), in which she applies to the classroom her philosophy of liberation from social hierarchies and prejudices. Encourage respectful listening; 2. De très nombreux exemples de phrases traduites contenant "ground rules discussion" – Dictionnaire français-anglais et moteur de recherche de traductions françaises. Finally, when students construct ground rules, they are building a haven where the dangers of a student (or the teacher) posturing, silencing, or offending are greatly lessened. Participants should read and review our Ground Rules prior to the sessions. 2. Do be respectful of other members with different opinions. 4. Work of any kind requires communication—and you may need to broach difficult subjects. Respect another person’s rights to freely express their opinion without fear of retribution. The students asked if ground rule one meant they had to speak, even if they did not feel like talking, which led to a brief discussion of bell hooks’ thoughts on the false protection of silence (see inset page 24).3 I explained that the rule about silence did not mean someone had to speak if they chose not to, but that they should not hold back a reply out of fear. Sometimes I ask students to begin every response with a positive remark of some kind to another speaker (“I respect your comment. It is okay to criticize what was said, but not the person expressing the opinion. 2. One can begin by having the students determine the rules for fair discussions. Although these tools facilitate discussion to some useful extent, outcomes of those discussions remain largely unpredictable. They were not resisting the exercise, but were asking for some tools from me, the subject matter expert. Mary Field Belenky, Blythe McVicker Clinchy, Nancy Rule Goldberger, and Jill Mattuck Tarule, Women’s Ways of Knowing (New York: Basic Books, 1986). Here, I focus on the preservice education classroom; the techniques, however, can be adopted for any setting and any grade level (see the inset on page 25 by Vicki Lynch). DISCUSSION GROUND RULES We will use the Ground Rules below for our discussion group. 7. If the idea of working with your team to set “Rules” rubs you the wrong way, consider these alternatives: I believe the most important way to implement ground rules is for the teacher to consistently model them, respecting various student opinions, even if they conflict with the teacher’s own opinion. Time: 45 minutes. 6. We should keep tempers in check. Increase participation and the sharing of idea… One student said, “It’s almost like we can talk about anything. No one is perfect. Words are connections between people.7 Of course, students bring their own contexts, languages, and lessons learned from memberships in other communities.8 Words are fragments of dialogue that are the building blocks of communication in the classroom. 12. For the maximum benefit to all, everyone must contribute. Equity & Inclusion Group Ground Rules Adapted from UT Astronomy E&I Discussion Group Ground Rules by Caitlin Casey, Brandon Bozek, and Raquel Martinez. MULTICULTURAL GROUND RULES FOR DISCUSSION. This group is not intended as “Diversity 101” training. Participants in a discussion need to be scrupulous in policing against side conversations. They break. While many public organizations use parliamentary procedure as a form of ground rules, such formal rules may not be sufficient or appropriate for guiding public discussion. Having ground rules for discussion in the classroom is not a new concept; in many classrooms, such rules are posted. Try to put your statements in a factual or non-accusatory form. When the subject matter is diversity awareness, the immediate need is to build a community of learners with bridges of understanding. 8. Ira Shor, Empowering Education: Critical Teaching for Social Change (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996); Seth Kreisberg, Transforming Power: Domination, Empowerment, and Education (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1992). Report Glitches: Discussion forums are electronic. No lurking in the cyberspace background. We know it isn’t meant in a mean way.”, Another student wrote as part of an evaluation that “the rules were good because they kept us from fighting ... this class opened my eyes and let me put my prejudice aside.” Several other students explained that ground rules “helped a lot” by showing that people can talk about difficult topics without having to agree; the rules helped everyone express their points of view freely without fear. Barbara Thayer-Bacon and Charles Bacon, Philosophy Applied to Education: Nurturing a Democratic Community in the Classroom (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1998). 10. This is true for everyone, regardless of our group(s). One common The class I use this exercise for is an upper-level seminar of about 15 students. Encouraging students to write their own rules for discussion and choose their own monitors puts power into their hands and helps them develop a sense of trust. While such a contract has no tangible penalties for violation, many students tend to take the idea of a signed statement more seriously than a verbal agreement or list of rules, considering it a personal “commitment.”6. It is the students, then, not the teacher, who will have responsibility for developing and enforcing the ground rules. Even though students enter the “democratic” classroom believing they have the right to “free speech,” most students are not comfortable exercising this right. The Program on Intergroup Relations, University of Michigan. Indeed, the students often exceed my expectations of their performance in classroom discussion. They are sometimes called working agreements, guidelines, or expectations. Try to avoid thinking about how you are … 1. In other words, the students find their own voices mingling in a chorus within and about diversity. Listen and speak with the same respect you would like shown to you. They aren’t always the same, but include variations on the same themes: Never walk alone, and don’t ever run unless you are part of an organized athletic activity. Every teacher has had that certain privilege, pleasure, and anxiety of facing a new class full of unfamiliar faces. How can we as teacher educators improve this experience for our students? In order to create a climate for open and honest dialogue and to encourage the broadest range of viewpoints, it is important for class participants to treat each other with respect. After all, learning to understand and appreciate diversity is not something we can do for them; ideally, a teacher should set positive examples, teach tolerance, and show the importance of respecting differences, rather than trying to break and reset students’ minds into a mold of the teacher’s devising. SHARES. (Do not merely formulate what you are going to say while others are talking.) Set book selection rules. It’s important that members use common courtesy and show respect for each other. In class, instructors can either work with students to generate ground rules or discussion guidelines, or they can present a set of guidelines and then work with students to accept or modify them. Although no one ever directly stated the rules that would govern our conduct, it was taught by example and reinforced by a system of rewards. The most common type of ground rule for meetings is a request for participants to avoid behaviors that may distract them and others such as the use of phones and consumption of food. Acknowledge that we are all systematically taught misinformation about our own group and about members of other groups. Vicki Lynch, a student of Deena C. McKinney, performed her preservice teaching in Florida. By Linda Fisher Thornton Talking about controversial topics has become a daunting task. GROUND RULES: Be willing to acknowledge that sexism and racism exist. National Council for the Social Studies, Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (Washington, DC: NCSS, 1994). Establishing ground rules or guidelines. Keep your classmates’ words confidential; nobody wants to have rumors floating around. LISTEN: Let’s value one another during the discussions by really listening to what is being shared. From Teaching to Transgress, pages 178-179. Jerome Rabow, Michelle Charness, Johanna Kipperman, and Susan Radcliffe-Vasile, William Fawcett Hil#146;s Learning Through Discussion (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1994). 5 Ground Rules for Online Classroom Discussion by Cristin Peratt on November 9, 2020 Somehow, online course discussions tend to spiral out of control quicker than in-person debates. 3. bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom (New York: Routledge, 1994). A Ground Rule by any other name may possibly smell less. Do ask questions. 12 Ground Rules for Online Discussions By Peter Connor Participate: This is a shared learning environment. I facilitated the discussions with prompts, asking students to express their views in first-person statements (“I believe… I have experienced”) rather than as absolute assertions. I expect students to attend and actively participate in class – both speaking and listening to others. Good listening requires concentration and attention. Do participate and share your knowledge and experience. Use the important points below as ground rules for discussing potentially emotionally charged issues: Second, teachers should be aware of how ground rules fit into a larger context of community building. No slurs or intentionally hurtful remarks are allowed. 5. Encouraging students to create ground rules, I believe, can enhance any discussion centered around controversial topics. Empowering education begins when students help to build their courses from the ground up.2 However, when I first asked students in an introductory education and diversity course to draft a list of ground rules for discussion, many were confused; these preservice teachers were not familiar with producing their own ground rules, but accustomed to having such rules provided for them. Small, guided daily discussions allow students to practice using ground rules. Guide for Setting Ground Rules. Thinking this over, the students then added a few rules of their own: 4. 2. We are all adults here, so we should keep a mature attitude in all that we do. Our primary commitment is to learn from each other, from course materials and from our work. Some people bristle at the idea of setting “Ground Rules” because it sounds too restrictive and punitive. “Could we have one speaker at a time?” is a good, gentle reminder when people are in violation of this rule. Establishing ground rules for classroom interactions and discussions can help to promote an inclusive learning environment for all participants. Ground rules are not the most important part of the dialogue process, but as grammar is to language, rules establish parameters for clarity and usage; they help students find a common language across their diverse experiences and backgrounds. Whatever our gender, class, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual identity, age, or physical or mental ability, we are all human beings involved in a process of education. Finally, after actually having a few discussions and seeing the ground rules put into practice, the class added several more rules that helped clarify previous ones: 9. Example 6 (from Dr. Ruby Beale, adapted by The Program on Intergroup Relations, University of Michigan) Multicultural Ground-Rules for Discussion. Members new to these issues are encouraged to spend time reading and listening. However, I think…”). Listen with respect. Our former colleague in psychology and business at the University of Michigan, Dr. Ruby Beale (now at Hampton University) has devised the following guidelines. Do look to see if your topic or question is already covered before starting a new thread. Whenever you hope to facilitate conversations on social justice concerns, whether preparing for a one-hour workshop or weaving such discussions into a year-long class, a vital first step is the development of guidelines for participation. Rather, hooks says, the school environment often resists critical thought and true intellectual pursuits. If we do say things that make each other upset or angry, let us try to resolve those feelings before we leave the classroom. Students have spoken up more to express their views and feelings. Through teaching courses in diversity and multiculturalism, I have discovered that establishing ground rules from day one allows my students to have clear guidelines for their participation that encourage openness, sharing, and understanding. Referring back to these community agreements can be very helpful if discussion becomes tense. Putting words in terms of “us v. them” serves no purpose in a dialogue intended to build understanding. Infographic: Conversation Ground Rules. Although she is a notable academic (BA Stanford University; MA University of Wisconsin; PhD University of California, Santa Cruz), hooks argues that academia is not the sole purveyor of important intellectual work. April 2, 2019 | In Classroom Management | By Trevor Muir. Setting Ground Rules For Class Discussion. How can students create meaning out of their discomfort? Where else will they find a forum as open and, ideally, as safe as a social studies classroom with ground rules? Sometimes, we may say things in discussion that we’d prefer kept in the classroom. Class monitors, one student wrote, “supported already sound practices.”, A few students were concerned that others treated them differently outside the classroom, perhaps discomforted by knowledge of their classmates’ perspectives on religion and sexual orientation. Encourage students to think about what must occur for a discussion to be successful. (Download Ground Rules) One of the hallmarks of a democracy is its citizens' willingness to express, defend, and perhaps reexamine their own opinions, while being respectful of the views of others. Follow these 15 rules of netiquette to make sure you sound respectful, polite, and knowledgeable when you post to your class’s online discussion boards. Each person gets a chance to talk. �µS� ò->NI•ÈívGiBÙ)Nyãq®©qùî™Í.�1Ïw[Dˆ¾OuFm ŸÙ|5îæçt¶ŒŸù;®êÛ¯ÒUôPqÓË.ßnQºŠ>�ùW». On the basis of this type of incident, I have considered making ground rules part of a learning contract in diversity and multicultural education courses. 7. 3. Acknowledge that opinions are often not right or wrong, but merely different. Do use the discussion room to promote topic-related educational events, research and resources. Yet discussing diversity issues can often be trying and even painful for some students. Most students responded positively to the idea of ground rules for discussion. Effective ground rules help: 1. When a teacher does not strictly monitor a discussion, some students feel personally challenged and are reluctant to participate. As silence and obedience to authority were most rewarded, students learned that this was the appropriate demeanor in the classroom. By Peter Connor. Share Tweet. To give them a nudge in the right direction, I suggested three rules to place first on their roadmap, clearly indicating this was only a starting point for their own journey: 1. They have practiced expressing disagreement and compromising. Each session will be a facilitated discussion of selected chapters, led by a member of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. As more and more classes include online discussion components, it becomes more and more important for instructors to understand the rules of etiquette that, when followed, help make the individual postings easy to follow, keep the conversation thread focused, and the overall discussion on-track. 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