I’ve learned that it is not enough to announce my commitment to dialogue and expect students to know what I mean; I need concrete exercises to allow students to learn how to do it.
Lauren Barthold, Philosophy Faculty
Endicott College, Massachusetts
After using this approach in my classroom, I am now more willing, and more able, to engage students in meaningful conversations about potentially contentious issues. Whereas I used to nod toward things like homosexuality in religious life, interfaith marriage, or the role of government in reproduction, now I build these conversations into the class so students can learn to speak about their experiences, and so they learn to listen and learn from those with whom they might disagree.
Dr. Jill DeTemple, Religious Studies Faculty
Southern Methodist University, Texas
The most significant thing for me was learning how to ask for more information rather than trying to persuade a person to think differently. I also learned helpful dialogue tips, which are more effective during difficult conversations. If I encounter a difficult dialogue with any of my residents, I plan on using the techniques I learned in this workshop to facilitate those talks.
Northeastern University, MA
Make a 30th Anniversary Donation Today
This year, Essential Partners celebrates this organization's remarkable history, influence, and impact, from its founding as the Public Conversations Project in 1989 to our vision for the next thirty years of transformational work. Together we can build a world of thriving communities strengthened by difference, connected by trust.
EP in the News: Questions for Connection and Purpose
Instructors need to be intentional and consistent in creating spaces in their classes for students to engage with the evolving world around them, write EP co-Executive Director John Sarrouf and Academic Associate Jill DeTemple, who provide suggestions to help educators do just that.