Below is a set of ground rules specific to discussions held in class and online. These are important to remember so that every member of the classroom feels respected and safe when discussing topics that are sometimes personal and powerful.
- Listen actively — respect others when they are talking.
- Speak from your own experience instead of generalizing (“I” instead of “they,” “we,” and “you”).
- Do not be afraid to respectfully challenge one another by asking questions, but refrain from personal attacks — focus on ideas.
- Participate to the fullest of your ability — community growth depends on the inclusion of every individual voice.
- Instead of invalidating somebody else’s story with your own spin on her or his experience, share your own story and experience.
- The goal is not to agree — it is to gain a deeper understanding.
- Be conscious of body language and nonverbal responses — they can be as disrespectful as words.
It is now your job to create an additional class ground rules. If you chose not to add a rule, please elaborate on one of the rules presented above. You are encouraged to reply to other’s suggestions about these rules, and if we reach a consensus, it will be added to the list. Please submit your responses no later than MONDAY February 3rd, 2015 to receive credit towards your course grade.