Dialogue in the Classroom: an interview with Jennifer West

Can you make space in your class for students to develop a conviction—understand what they believe and why and be willing to share it—and at the same time invite them to hold those convictions with humility—an openness, curiosity, and willingness to listen to others? Can Reflective Structured Dialogue be the method that works that magic?

Major Moments

I’ve been a college professor for over 17 years. I love spending time with young people who are learning how to connect outside of their comfort zone. Freshman might often appear like deer in headlights and shy. But truthfully, they’re curious and ready to take on the world. 

Mostly. 

A New Voice, A New Home

It is always hard to leave one’s hometown and settle in a completely different country, especially when you are Asian like me. Spending the most important years in the US was truly difficult but I have nothing to regret.

Footprints Matter

My name is Sara Jean-Francois and I am currently a junior at Providence College, and a student activist on campus. In highschool I was angry about life and how unfair it seemed for people like me. I am a young black woman living at a time in which society continues to disregard and disgrace black bodies.

Dialogue on Sexual Assault

April on college campuses represents the beginning of spring as well as the end of semester flood of assignments and exams as the year comes to an end. That’s not all that’s going on in April, however. Many schools are now engaged in activities around Sexual Assault Awareness Month: survivors have a chance to tell their stories and students have the opportunity to engage in challenging conversations about sexual assault, relationship violence, and campus culture.

The Heart of Learning

As a young teacher working in an urban Cleveland neighborhood in the early 70s, I quickly learned that all my creative ideas for teaching rigorous academic subjects were not enough. I needed to also have the capacity to connect with my students and create a sense of community in the classroom.

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