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ERIC Number: ED541263
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Civil Discourse in the Classroom
Shuster, Kate
Southern Poverty Law Center (NJ1)
We live in a climate ripe for noise: Media outlets and 24-hour news cycles mean that everyone with access to a computer has access to a megaphone to broadcast their views. Never before in human history has an opinion had the opportunity to reach so many so quickly regardless of its accuracy or appropriateness. Of course, it's difficult to hear anything when everyone has a megaphone. For young people trying to learn how to speak and listen, this is an especially complicated business. Educators are well positioned to provide a counterweight to this loudest-is-best approach. Speaking in a classroom or school environment is not the same as speaking in the outside world. Schools and classrooms strive to be safe places where students can exchange ideas, try out opinions and receive feedback on their ideas without fear or intimidation. This curriculum will introduce basic tools for teaching civil discourse. It is not subject-specific; on the contrary, these tools of argumentation and discussion lend themselves to any subject in any classroom.
Southern Poverty Law Center. 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104. Tel: 334-956-8200; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southern Poverty Law Center