2020 Election: Pedagogical Resources for Difficult Dialogues and Self-Care


UNCG Resources for Addressing Difficult Dialogues

Establishing inclusion is foundational for the stabilization of the rest of the class. It is essential that inclusion be demonstrated and made the centerpiece if students are to truly feel included and able to participate in the course. Community agreements are a helpful tool for establishing ground rules that facilitate inclusion. This is especially important if you plan to address difficult topics related to the 2020 election.

Many of us know, but might not actualize, the fact that discussion, dialogue, and debate are three different modes of communication. This is significant because in our attempts to respond to the context of the 2020 election, we might be encouraging competitive debate while hoping for collaborative dialogue. It is important that you are clear with yourself, and then with your students, which of these you are intending an activity to produce.

Moving from a face-to-face setting to a virtual one can be challenging. Once you add difficult content and charged emotional responses, it can seem beyond just difficult. Sustained Dialogue Institute has developed a list of suggestions for holding dialogue in an online format. This resource is important for helping you think about doing this work online around the 2020 election.

In the classroom, hot moments are those that can derail learning. (Or, hot moments can be those instances when, without intervention, a learning opportunity will be missed.) This resource considers how you can begin to address those moments by attending to the intent and impact as a part of intervening in the moment.

When working with students to talk through difficult dialogues and hot moments, students may lack awareness of the origins of their ideas and need help with unpacking their own thinking. The ladder of inference presented in this resource can be used to guide your sequence of follow-up questions and can also be shown to students to help them understand from where their beliefs and actions derive.

A table of common teaching strategies for working from a framework that promotes equity, diversity, and inclusion. These general principles can be helpful reminder as we work with students in response to the 2020 election.

A collection of resources from across UNCG and other leading institutions for this work to continue to build on the skills that support this type of work for the 2020 election season and beyond.

Resources considering the broader context of the 2020 election – from COVID-19 to ongoing struggles for justice and equality – through the lens of trauma and trauma-informed teaching.

A video from the Healthy Relationships Initiative featuring a panel of UNCG experts as they share insights and strategies to help us understand and navigate tension and conflict during a time of heightened political tension.

This document is full of tips and resources from the UNCG Counseling Center for coping in the context of 2020.

Presentation slides from the Counseling Center at UNCG addressing major issues and potential responses in the context of the 2020 election.

External Resources for Teaching with the Election, Trauma-Informed Teaching, and Self-Care

The following resources from other leading institutions may be helpful as you continue to think through responding to the 2020 election and the broader socio-political climate: