Each person gets a chance to talk. Share Tweet. Increase participation and the sharing of idea… When the obsession with maintaining order is coupled with the fear of “losing face,” of not being thought well of by one’s professor and peers, all possibility of constructive dialogue is undermined. CONFIDENTIALITY: What is said in the group stays in the group. Our primary commitment is to learn from each other, from course materials and from our work. They have practiced expressing disagreement and compromising. 3. One student said, “It’s almost like we can talk about anything. Try to avoid thinking about how you are … Referring back to these community agreements can be very helpful if discussion becomes tense. From Teaching to Transgress, pages 178-179. At several times during courses, when I would use this roadmap of ground rules, which was adopted and amended by subsequent classes, I asked students what they thought about the process of discussion, particularly its strong and weak points. 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. Ground rules facilitate engagement and interaction, fostering a positive learning environment and a supportive classroom community. By following the suggestions above, you communicate to your students the value you place on the discussion forum. 7. 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. Do look to see if your topic or question is already covered before starting a new thread. Students have spoken up more to express their views and feelings. National Council for the Social Studies, Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (Washington, DC: NCSS, 1994). It is not enough to login and read the discussion thread of others. Netiquette: Ground Rules for Online Discussions. 2. If the teacher disagrees with a proposed rule, students and teacher can negotiate and compromise. Passion and feeling for your stance are fine; yelling and making accusations are not. 7. Encouraging students to create ground rules, I believe, can enhance any discussion centered around controversial topics. Different students also volunteered each week to be monitors or “gatekeepers”; they held the power and responsibility for making sure class discussions progressed smoothly.4 I was surprised and pleased to discover that the students’ rules were similar to those written by seventh graders as well as college freshmen, as described by other teachers.5 As the course continued, students became more assertive as monitors, quickly yet politely reminding classmates about following rules and sharing their own perspectives to defeat silence (0 Civic Ideals and Practices). 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. Time: 45 minutes. In other words, the students find their own voices mingling in a chorus within and about diversity. 3. bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom (New York: Routledge, 1994). 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). What can make any classroom a safe haven for discussing fearful topics, such as racism, sexism, and ageism? GROUND RULES: Be willing to acknowledge that sexism and racism exist. Barbara Thayer-Bacon and Charles Bacon, Philosophy Applied to Education: Nurturing a Democratic Community in the Classroom (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1998). To all teachers who are committed to the idea of encouraging students’ empowerment, speaking out, and community building (6 Power, Authority, and Governance), I offer several rationales for building ground rules in order to improve our pedagogy. 5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Ground rules are a short list of expectations to guide how a group works together. Some rules that my class established were. Keep your classmates’ words confidential; nobody wants to have rumors floating around. The lower case letters are her appeal to readers to pay attention not to the person, but to her works. 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. When the subject matter is diversity awareness, the immediate need is to build a community of learners with bridges of understanding. Very brief discussion guidelines could include items like: Allow everyone a chance to speak; Listen respectfully and actively; Criticize ideas, not individuals; Commit to learning, not debating; Avoid blame, speculation, inflammatory language ; Avoid assumptions about others, especially based on their perceived social group; Here are some useful examples of discussion guidelines: Three sample Such ground rules are especially important when discussing controversial or otherwise challenging topics. I have also witnessed the result of inconsistent enforcement of the ground rules. 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. Report Glitches: Discussion forums are electronic. Even though students enter the “democratic” classroom believing they have the right to “free speech,” most students are not comfortable exercising this right. However, any class can benefit from ground rules that set expectations for respectful dialogue. 1. Encourage students to think about what must occur for a discussion to be successful. One can begin by having the students determine the rules for fair discussions. 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). Bring Issues to the Table. In the event that one or more students try to draw the instructor into an emotional response, the ground rules for discussion can play a vital role, and the instructor can model constructive behavior in demonstrating how to unpack such a heated moment by reviewing what had led up to it, in pointing out differences between baiting, debating, and discussing, and/or steering the discussion into a more … A Ground Rule by any other name may possibly smell less. Your challenge is to create open and productive discussions where people feel safe sharing their experiences and perspectives, and are receptive to learning. Acknowledge that opinions are often not right or wrong, but merely different. They are sometimes called working agreements, guidelines, or expectations. When a teacher does not strictly monitor a discussion, some students feel personally challenged and are reluctant to participate. Although these tools facilitate discussion to some useful extent, outcomes of those discussions remain largely unpredictable. Sometimes, we may say things in discussion that we’d prefer kept in the classroom. Small, guided daily discussions allow students to practice using ground rules. Activity 1: Students set discussion criteria and rules. Do participate and share your knowledge and experience. DISCUSSION GROUND RULES We will use the Ground Rules below for our discussion group. 6. As silence and obedience to authority were most rewarded, students learned that this was the appropriate demeanor in the classroom. This is the first year that I have encouraged students to establish their own ground rules, and I have observed changes in student attitudes. If we do say things that make each other upset or angry, let us try to resolve those feelings before we leave the classroom. “Could we have one speaker at a time?” is a good, gentle reminder when people are in violation of this rule. �µS� ò->NI•ÈívGiBÙ)Nyãq®©qùî™Í.�1Ïw[Dˆ¾OuFm ŸÙ|5îæçt¶ŒŸù;®êÛ¯ÒUôPqÓË.ßnQºŠ>�ùW». 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. This is true for everyone, regardless of our group(s). 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. Do use the discussion room to promote topic-related educational events, research and resources. (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. For the maximum benefit to all, everyone must contribute. 5. This isn’t Diversity 101. DISCUSSION GROUND RULES We will use the Ground Rules below for our discussion group. One common First, as teachers, we need to recognize the ownership students can experience in their own classrooms. 1. Everyone should feel respected and heard in a community of their brothers and sisters in Christ. 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. Second, teachers should be aware of how ground rules fit into a larger context of community building. Take responsibility for your own learning. By Peter Connor. This study investigated the role of discussion ground rules in an online family science class. Try to put your statements in a factual or non-accusatory form. 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. The bottom line is that many students desperately want to talk about diversity and how it affects their lives. 2. 4. 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. I expect students to attend and actively participate in class – both speaking and listening to others. Effective ground rules help: 1. LISTEN: Let’s value one another during the discussions by really listening to what is being shared. 8. Each session will be a facilitated discussion of selected chapters, led by a member of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. However, my own approach to ground rules is taken from writings in critical and feminist pedagogy, wherein students come to have consciousness and power for themselves through use of dialogue and critical reflection (4 Individual Development and Identity).1 Teachers using this framework act as subject matter experts regarding curriculum and methods, but encourage students to be experts with regard to their own experiences and perspectives. Most students responded positively to the idea of ground rules for discussion. Deena C. McKinney is an associate professor at St. Leo College in Lake City, Florida. Ground rules, dos and don’ts. 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. Set book selection rules. In a secondary classroom, it is a helpful exercise for students to establish and practice using ground rules for discussion. The class I use this exercise for is an upper-level seminar of about 15 students. Where else will they find a forum as open and, ideally, as safe as a social studies classroom with ground rules? For this reason, I believe the key to using ground rules is consistent modeling by the secondary teacher. Our former colleague in psychology and business at the University of Michigan, Dr. Ruby Beale (now at Hampton University) has devised the following guidelines. 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. 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. Listen with respect. If the idea of working with your team to set “Rules” rubs you the wrong way, consider these alternatives: Ground Rules for Discussion Ground Rules for In-Class Discussions: 1. De très nombreux exemples de phrases traduites contenant "ground rules discussion" – Dictionnaire français-anglais et moteur de recherche de traductions françaises. 3. 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. Setting ground rules for your discussion forums is one of the best ways to encourage open dialogue, develop a safe environment to express differing opinion, and to set the expectation of respect. 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. Refrain from saying “I never do that!” if we are talking about something negative or “I always do that!” if we’re talking about something positive. Abstract: Traditionally, instructors use tools such as e-mail and discussion forum for online discussions. Participants in a discussion need to be scrupulous in policing against side conversations. By Linda Fisher Thornton Talking about controversial topics has become a daunting task. 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. Support your views with evidence and examples. MULTICULTURAL GROUND RULES FOR DISCUSSION. Often one of the best signs of an engaged classroom is having a loud classroom. No one is perfect. 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. 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. Establishing ground rules or guidelines. Participants should read … Equity & Inclusion Group Ground Rules Adapted from UT Astronomy E&I Discussion Group Ground Rules by Caitlin Casey, Brandon Bozek, and Raquel Martinez. They break. 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. Respect another person’s rights to freely express their opinion without fear of retribution. 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. Indeed, the students often exceed my expectations of their performance in classroom discussion. Anger and passion are acceptable, but they should be used in a positive manner, not as fuel to create hostility and animosity. To ensure a civil conversation: Show respect for the views expressed by others, even if you strongly disagree. Yet discussing diversity issues can often be trying and even painful for some students. Putting words in terms of “us v. them” serves no purpose in a dialogue intended to build understanding. Acknowledge that silence won’t protect you; if you have something to say, you should say it. They were not resisting the exercise, but were asking for some tools from me, the subject matter expert. Setting Ground Rules For Class Discussion. 2. Vicki Lynch, a student of Deena C. McKinney, performed her preservice teaching in Florida. 12. 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