Tips provided by Dr. Abigail Droge and Dr. Chris Dean:
Ground the conversation in the text.
Thinking about the narrative “arc” of a discussion can be helpful -- you can start the session by discussing a specific passage and then build out to larger-scale questions about how our current social moment impacts the way we read this text, how reading this text might impact our current social moment, etc. Or you can start with students’ own experiences (which they are already experts in) and move into the text, etc, etc -- there are many different progressions that work well. Having an idea in advance of the discussion’s major “plot points” can be helpful in providing a loose framework, which can then still be flexible enough to respond to participants’ interests.
Ask everyone to come to the meeting with a passage from the text. Ask 'Why did you choose this passage?"
Tips provided by Dr. Michelle Grue:
The Circle Way is a lightly formalized, lightly facilitated social structure that allows people to use circle process in a wide range of settings.
COMPONENTS OF CIRCLE What transforms a meeting into a circle is the willingness of people to shift from informal socializing or opinionated discussion into a receptive attitude of thoughtful speaking and deep listening that embodies the practices and structures outlined here.
Establishing discussion ground rules is a good way to ensure the conversation is productive, thoughtful, and inclusive. Here are some examples of ground rules you can ask your group to agree to in advance.
Guidelines for dialogue / community expectations from University of Michigan's Center for Research on Learning and Teaching
Confidentiality. We want to create an atmosphere for open, honest exchange.
Guidelines for Social Justice Education Contexts from Sensoy & Diangelo p. 8
Notice your own defensive reactions and attempt to use these reactions as entry points for gaining deeper self-knowledge, rather than as a rationale for closing off.
Recognize how your own social positionality (e.g., race, class, gender, sexuality, ability) informs your perspectives and reactions to your instructor and those whose work you study in the course.
Differentiate between safety and comfort. Accept discomfort as necessary for social justice growth.
Identify where your learning edge is and push it. For example, whenever you think, I already know this, ask yourself, How can I take this deeper? Or, How am I applying in practice what I already know?
Modified from guidelines by McKensie Mack, Anti-Oppression Consultant
We agree to…
The following content and linked resources are intended primarily for instructors in classroom settings, however the resources may be helpful as a primer to understanding content warnings (sometimes called “content notices” or “trigger warnings”).
This guide explains what content and trigger warnings are, why they are important to include for inclusive classrooms, and how instructors can implement them.
“An Introduction to Content & Trigger Warnings” Courtesy of University of Michigan's Inclusive Teaching website.