Title

Transforming Conflict in the Classroom: Best Practices for Facilitating Difficult Dialogues and Creating an Inclusive Communication Climate

Document Type

Contribution to Books

Publication Date

2016

Abstract

Since discussions can improve students' ability to evaluate the logic of positions that they and others hold1, classroom discussions develop students' self-awareness and appreciation of diverse perspectives.2 Other benefits of discussions that are controversial in nature include "higher achievement and better retention, more frequent use of higher-level reasoning, metacognitive thought, and critical thinking, more continuing motivation to achieve and learn, and greater accuracy in interpersonal perspective taking."3 Moreover, engaging in classroom discussions can be thought-provoking, exciting, and transformative. One of the challenges in facilitating classroom discussions is creating a communication climate that avoids destructive conflict, allows multiple voices to be heard, and fosters dialogue.