Tools and pedagogical tips for dialogue

If you are a teacher, we can imagine that it might be extra difficult when the discussion takes place in your classroom. Highlighting the different points of view may suggest that you are pro or against something. However, consciously avoiding the discussion may give the impression that you’re not admitting colours. You may never get it right. How to handle this and the impact that it may have, will differ per person, of course.

This article from TerInfo (in Dutch) provides help on how to discuss the conflict with students in your classroom and provides guidance on how to prepare for such conversations. On the TerInfo website you can also find do's and don'ts (in Dutch) when discussing a topic with students who are highly emotionally involved. You can also read tips for dealing with controversial topics (in Dutch) in general.

    Pedagogical tips

    Teacher guideline for inclusive conversations

    Guidelines to think about your own perspective, and different scenarios (pdf, 192 kB) that can help you to decide how to handle different situations during your classes.

    Learning activities for an open conversation

    There are several learning activities that can be used for having a conversation with students. Here we highlight a few options.

    Online sessions

    The Centre for Academic Teaching and Learning is organising a series of online sessions for teachers to support them in navigating conversations with and between students on this topic. The first session, with Jet Tigchelaar, was on 23 May. During a joint exercise, participants explored how to shape a Socratic conversation when dealing with difficult and pressing issues, such as the situation in Gaza and the demonstrations at the university. There was also room for questions and mutual exchange of helpful experiences and ideas. You can view the presentation with a step-by-step plan for conducting a Socratic conversation and possible questions to discuss (pdf, 280 KB).