Equipping Students to Foster Civility in Conversation

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Gaining the floor respectfully

  • From my viewpoint…” then add, agree or disagree
  • Might I…” then add, agree, or disagree
  • I would like to …” then add, agree, or disagree
  • Excuse me…” followed by inquiry or question

Linking to other’s comments

  • I thought that, too…
  • I hear what you are saying…” followed by agreement, disagreement, paraphrase, etc.
  • I think I hear you saying…” followed by restatement of another’s ideas

Asking for clarification

  • I’m not sure I understand. Could you explain further?
  • Could you provide another example to help me understand?
  • Where did you find that evidence?
  • What might be another way you could say that?

Engage others in conversation

  • _____, what thoughts do you have about …?
  • _____, would you like to offer your ideas?
  • Are there others who share my understanding?
  • Are there others who understand this differently?

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2 Responses to “Equipping Students to Foster Civility in Conversation”

  1. Robert Ward October 11, 2016 at 3:15 pm #

    I agree on all counts that teachers and parents must be leaders and models of decorum and respect. Actively teaching kids courtesy and cooperation are fundamental life skills that directly support learning and achievement in every area of life. I also appreciate the concrete examples provided for how to train students to speak more thoughtfully and eloquently. Great article!

    • Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry October 11, 2016 at 10:47 pm #

      Thanks for taking time to read my blog and comment. From what we are witnessing in the political realm and among the public in the recent weeks, I am more than ever convinced the skills of conversation are need immediate and national attention!!

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