I am a firm believer in academic freedom and freedom of speech. Nonetheless, I want to encourage conversation and dialogue (within our formal assignments as well as in your various discussions with classmates) that are based on a framework of mutual respect and a desire for a continued and deeper understanding of the issues at hand and also the multiple perspectives represented.
Healthy debate and exploration are encouraged in your discussion posts. At the same time, you must support your well-thought-out claims and analyses with accurate and appropriate references. I will dock points when the rules of decorum are disregarded. Keep these guidelines for class interactions in mind as you interact with classmates and your instructor.
Guidelines for Class Interactions
- Our primary commitment is to learn from each other. We will listen to each other and not talk at each other. We acknowledge differences amongst us in backgrounds, skills, interests, and values. We realize that it is these very differences that will increase our awareness and understanding through this process.
- We will not demean, devalue, or “put down” people for their experiences, lack of understanding, or differences in interpretation.
- We will be courteous. Include everyone in the discussion and refrain from private conversations within class discussions.
- We will trust that people are always doing the best they can.
- If we wish to challenge something that has been said, we will challenge the idea or the practice referred to, not the individual sharing this idea or practice.
- If you have much to say, try to hold back a bit; if you are hesitant to speak, look for opportunities to contribute to the discussion.