ABSTRACT

This chapter pivots toward concrete ways that schools can prepare students to build bridges across lines of divide and disagreement. One way for students to practice cross-cutting dialogue is to meet counterparts beyond their own classroom. Chapter Four chronicles one such collaboration, between students in Massachusetts and Alabama who discovered common ground. The discovery of commonalities is in keeping with research shared in the chapter that shows Americans tend to overestimate the depth of the political divide, and under the right conditions, exposure to the “others” across the political divide helps debunk the stereotypes Americans have of the political out-group. The chapter concludes by observing that, regardless of whether a collaboration is overtly political in nature, students must experience the sort of cross-cutting dialogue featured in this chapter as a building block for future efforts at depolarization.