Creating space for young people to share opinions and disagree with each other is the foundation for educating future generations of engaged citizens who are capable of civil discourse. Unfortunately, many schools have struggled to create this space; often we are understandably reluctant to allow this kind of learning environment for fear of becoming entangled in controversy and conflict. The irony is that our reluctance feeds the cycle; when adults are unable or unwilling to provide the education required for civil debate, young people will be unprepared to develop into adults with the necessary skills to improve our political discourse.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

We can create educational spaces that are appropriately uncomfortable; because that is how we consider new ideas, reflect on our own (even strongly held) positions, and build skills to become informed, critical thinkers.

Cultures of Dignity’s Rosalind Wiseman and Megan Saxelby joined Jen Cort on Third Space Podcast to discuss how to do this by first creating the foundation of dignity to then engage in tough conversations.

Give it a listen and let us know what you think!

This is a part of our Navigating Politics with Dignity in the New Decade Initiative!

More Resources & Materials

Podcast Notes

Rosalind, a returning guest is the founder of Cultures of Dignity, a contributor and curriculum creator for the Anti-Defamation League and as a multiple New York Times Bestseller best known for being the author of Queen Bees and Wannabes: the groundbreaking, best-selling book that was the basis for the movie and Broadway Musical Mean Girls, and was fully revised for a third edition. Wiseman is the author of the Owning Up Curriculum, a comprehensive social justice program for grades 4-12 which is in widespread use across the world. She has been profiled in or written for The New York Times, TIME, and the Washington Post among others and is a frequent guest on the Today Show, CNN, Good Morning America, and National Public Radio. She lives in Boulder Colorado with her husband and two sons. rosalind@culturesofdignity.com

Megan was a middle and high school educator for 12 years and is an expert in dignity and social-emotional learning. Her work combines research in neuroscience, conflict resolution, social responsibility, and critical thinking to create transformative approaches that develop the whole person. Megan specializes in creating programming that prioritizes the development of emotional intelligence and creates cultures of dignity. megan@culturesofdignity.com

Link to the tiny guides:
https://store.culturesofdignity.com/

PODCAST: Discussing difficult topics around 2020 Election and COVID-19 with Rosalind Wiseman, Megan Saxelby and Jen Cort