Photo: Students in Dialogue

Building Agreements

One of the most important things you can do to create a dialogic classroom is to start by having a conversation with your students about the conversation.

What do you, as a class, want to talk about? What agreements (or ground rules) could you make together to help everyone participate as fully as they want to? How can you have difficult conversations that are healthy, productive, and rewarding?

Agreements are one of the building blocks of the dialogic classroom. They help you structure and guide the conversation when it gets particularly difficult. Some classroom agreements might include:

  • I will not interrupt my classmates
  • Every member of the class has the right to pass, rather than share
  • We will not share other people’s stories outside this class

The most important thing you can do is build those agreements together.

Want to use dialogue in your classroom? Bring Essential Partners to your campus or attend the EP summer faculty workshop in Cambridge, Massachusetts.