Responding to Common Dialogue Blockers

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Overview

This resource is designed to help instructors manage the challenges of difficult classroom dialogue, specifically the way some students block or divert dialogue as a defensive response to perspectives they find uncomfortable or challenging. The “common blockers,” authored by Kelly Obear of the Social Justice Training Institute, are listed below with explanations of how they act to block dialogue and suggested responses that you or your students can use to respond and restore dialogue effectively. The section on “Facilitator Considerations” gives further strategies for instructors to approach difficult classroom conversations.

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Inventory of Inclusive Teaching Strategies

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Overview

This resource is an inventory of 50 concrete strategies for building an inclusive class. The Inventory focuses on four course components: student-instructor interaction, student-student interaction, content, and instructional practices. Instructors can use the list to consider what strategies they may already be taking toward an inclusive pedagogy, what strategies they may like to implement, what strategies they would like to investigate further, and what strategies may not work for them or their classroom. This resource is best used during the planning stage of a course or while reflecting on the successes and failures of a completed course, but many of the strategies could be implemented at any point of the semester.

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Setting the Tone for Inclusive Classrooms

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Overview

This resource details five general practices for building inclusivity in the classroom: (1) Establish clear expectations and goals for classroom interactions; (2) Build rapport and community in your class; (3) Model inclusive language that acknowledges student differences; (4) Help students develop awareness of multiple visible and invisible identities in the classroom; and (5) Address tensions or problematic patterns of interaction. For each practice, several concrete and specific actions are proposed.

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