Dialogic Pedagogy Summer Reading List & Blog Series

By Sarah Ropp

This summer, I am on a quest to distill and create usable classroom resources from the many books on dialogue floating around out there. 

Each week, I will be reading a different text related to some aspect of dialogue — its (contested) meanings, possibilities, and challenges; models and structures for dialogue; and participation and facilitation strategies. 

Each Friday, in a blog post published here on the Humanities Institute blog, I will briefly summarize the week’s reading and share ready-made materials for teachers and students based on what I consider to be the most useful and relevant content contained in the reading. These materials, which will include handouts, slideshows, activities, infographics, and so on, will be broadly adaptable across discipline and course topic. Neither teachers nor students will have had to read the text in order to understand and use them! My hope is to make it easier for instructors to access dialogic pedagogies and play with new structures, strategies, and approaches in their classrooms. 

Here are a couple of examples of ready-to-use classroom materials based on books on dialogue: 

Text: Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most (Stone, Patton, and Heen, 1999)

Resources: “The 3 Conversations: A Framework for Understanding Difficult Dialogues” is an instructional slideshow to introduce students to this structuring concept from Stone, Patton, and Heen’s text. “Reflecting on the 3 Conversations” is a collaborative processing activity for students to complete after reading the slideshow. 

Text: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism (DiAngelo, 2018)

Resources: “Terms and Concepts from White Fragility is a handout for students that defines and provides examples for key terms related to racial (in)justice. “Challenging Common Norms” is an activity that prompts reflection, dialogue, and collaborative norm-setting in preparation for classroom dialogue on sensitive topics. 

Below is a working list of texts I’ll be reading my way through. You are welcome to read along and join in the conversation! Though the main focus for the purpose of this blog series will be practical and meaning-oriented as opposed to critique-oriented — that is, a “What can we learn and use from this?” mindset versus a “What’s wrong with this?” mindset — I am also interested in discussions around the broader contexts in which these texts are embedded: who’s writing them, for whom, and towards what ideological or political purposes. I very warmly invite you to respond to both these texts and to my materials with questions, pushback, and suggestions. Do make sure to subscribe to the Humanities Institute newsletter in order to catch the posts each week. (Just enter your email address under “Subscribe By Email” on the left-hand toolbar.) 

Texts for the Dialogic Pedagogy Summer Reading Series: 

Week   Text Check for the blog post on…
May 24 Stop Talking: Indigenous Ways of Teaching and Learning and Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education (Merculieff and Roderick, 2013) Friday, May 28
May 31 How to Have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide (Boghossian and Lindsay, 2019) Friday, June 4
June 7 Creating Space for Democracy: A Primer on Dialogue and Deliberation in Higher Education (Longo and Schaffer, eds, 2019) Friday, June 11
June 14 Teaching through Challenges to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (EDI) (Burrell Storms, Donovan, and Williams, 2020) Friday, June 18
June 21 Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom (hooks, 1994) Friday, June 25
June 28 So You Want to Talk About Race (Oluo, 2018) Friday, July 2
July 5 Being the Change: Lessons and Strategies to Teach Social Comprehension (Ahmed, 2018) Friday, July 9
July 12 How to Talk about Hot Topics on Campus: From Polarization to Moral Conversation (Nash, Bradley, and Chickering, 2008) Friday, July 16
July 19 Facilitating Intergroup Dialogues: Bridging Differences, Catalyzing Change (Maxwell, Nagda, and Thompson, 2011) Friday, July 23
July 26 Democratic Dialogue in Education: Troubling Speech, Disturbing Silence (Boler, 2006) Friday, July 30
August 2 It’s Time to Talk (and Listen): A Handbook for Healing Conversations About Race, Class, Sexuality, Ability, Gender, and More (Kim and del Prado, 2019) Friday, August 6
August 9 TBD!  August 13


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