Becoming a Culture of Conversation, Not a Culture of Contestation! (R. Nash)
About Difficult Dialogues
Difficult Dialogues is a program designed to create a culture of dialogue on campus, where people differing in perspectives, opinions, beliefs, and world views interact to embrace pluralism and promote academic freedom.
The Difficult Dialogues program at ISU was launched following a Summer Institute facilitated by Difficult Dialogues faculty and staff from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2008. This conference was part of a national Difficult Dialogues Initiative sponsored by the Ford Foundation.
The University adopted this program to train and engage faculty in forms of dialogue and dialogue facilitation that would essentially lead to an enhanced intellectual atmosphere by creating inclusive classrooms and a safe place for free exchange within curriculum and faculty development. The programs purpose is not to change people's beliefs. Rather, ISU desires to create and institutionalize model of dialogue based on mutual respect, honesty, and freedom to exchange sometimes agreeable and sometimes opposing ideas and beliefs.
Three primary outcomes of the ISU Difficult Dialogues initiative include:
- Development of resources for faculty to assist them in engaging their students in civil conversations, whether planned or unplanned, related to current ISU difficult dialogues topics.
- Development of quality faculty and staff programming for learning effective ways to engage students in difficult dialogues and for responding to difficult dialogue questions.
- College level engagement in developing curriculum that guides students to think critically about, and discuss respectfully difficult dialogues issues.
Difficult Dialogues Videos
Spring 2010 Faculty Forum with authors DeMethra Bradley and Robert Nash