Difficult Dialogue? Be Brave & Real!

Difficult dialogue in the classroom can emerge around many topics such as race, class, gender, faith, politics, current controversies, and more.

When asking students to dig deeper into complex topics and challenging experiences, we can best help them grow by intentionally providing opportunities to reflect on themselves and call each other into dialogue with courage and generosity.

[As many of the topics in this area connect, you may also find relevant resources in fostering a sense of belonging, trauma-informed pedagogy, and anti-racist & decolonizing pedagogy.]

To engage in dialogue is one of the simplest ways we can begin as teachers, scholars and critical thinkers to cross boundaries, the barriers that may or may not be erected by race, gender, class, professional standing, and a host of other differences.
bell hooks

Explore & Consider

Explore & Consider contains short articles and videos that reflect on or summarize current thinking, research, or experiences related to the topic.

Engage & Elaborate

Engage & Elaborate provides opportunities for a deeper exploration, personal reflection, and more nuanced consideration of the topic.

One of the first steps for creating an inclusive classroom or teaching multicultural awareness is self-awareness and self-reflection. Before we can begin to understand differences between one’s self and others, we must first take the time to reflect on who we are. Here are a few recommended books to support personal reflection:

Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt, Blind Spot by Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald, Whistling Vivaldi by Claude Steele, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, and Cheating Lessons by James M. Lang

URI Voices:

Hear from our peers working in this area.

  • hands holding a clapper Facilitating Difficult Conversations Remotely 07-21-20 - Sue Adams (Human Development & Family Studies), Carnell Jones (Enrollment Services), Rebecca Millsop (Philosophy), & Kelly Shea (Education)
    Panelists discussed will share why difficult dialogues are needed for their context, what they did in Spring 2020 and why, how it impacted student learning, and how they are thinking about those changes for the future.
    Access to video restricted by URI login