ABSTRACT

Chapter Five extends the focus on strategies and tools educators can employ to prepare students to eventually soften the political divide. It contends that deliberative dialogue can be just as productive within a classroom as it can be across state lines. Most classrooms feature viewpoint diversity. To capitalize on that ideological diversity, teachers must establish norms of behavior that welcome, reward, and protect respectful exchanges across lines of disagreement. They should teach students the communication skills—including listening—to bridge the gap with the political or ideological “other” and reconsider what it means to have a productive class discussion. Finally, they should assess students’ mastery of those skills, which could include the self-reflection encouraged by digital portfolios.