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An Integrated Approach to Diversity Education: Intergroup Dialogues and CommonGround. Kelly E. Maxwell, Ph.D. Co-Director Roger Fisher, Co-Associate Director The Program on Intergroup Relations www.igr.umich.edu. National imperative on integrative learning.
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Kelly E. Maxwell, Ph.D. Co-Director
Roger Fisher, Co-Associate Director
The Program on Intergroup Relations
“[I]ntegrative learning is a shorthand term for teaching a set of capacities—capacities we might also call the arts of connection, reflective judgment, and considered action—that enable graduates to put their knowledge to effective use. Thus defined, integrative learning may certainly include the various forms of interdisciplinary learning. But it should also lead students to connect and integrate the different parts of their overall education, to connect learning with the world beyond the academy, and, above all, to translate their education to new contexts, new problems, new responsibilities.”
“Collectively, the practices that foster integrative and culminating learning can help ensure that students will learn to take context and complexity into account when they apply their analytical skills to challenging problems.”
Carol Geary Schneider, ISSUES IN INTEGRATIVE STUDIES, No. 21, pp. 1-8 (2003).
More than multi disciplinary study or interdisciplinary study alone, IGR promotes integrative learning that is both interdisciplinary and life-wide learning in practice. Social Justice Education and Intergroup Relations are interdisciplinary fields of study requiring cognitive integration of concepts from several disciplines in an applied sense to complex social conditions. For example, students engaging in an examination of poverty may simultaneously apply concepts from economics, sociology, political science, public policy, social work and others during their work together.
In IGR, our goal is the integrative learning of our students in and out of the classroom that promotes their reflective judgment and their reflective practice. Our intentional structure as a joint program in the College of Literature, Science & the Arts (LS&A) and the Division of Student Affairs (DSA) lends itself to the drawing together of the interdisciplinarity of a liberal arts curriculum and the life-wide learning of student development theory and student self authorship.
Our courses and programs are designed to challenge students at every level to deepen their interdisciplinary knowledge and retrieve the knowledge they have gained during their lived experience (tacit knowledge). The desired outcome is students becoming actively engaged citizens with the ability to integrate their critical thinking, social critique and self awareness for participation in a diverse democracy and global economy.
--offering academic courses
--facilitating co-curricular activities
--offering consultation and training, and
--developing a Global Living-Learning Program
--explicitly focusing on the relationships between social conflict and social justice.
Theories of conflict and cognitive dissonance
Theories of “modern/aversive/symbolic” –isms
Student Development Theory
52 Dialogue Experiments (26 race, 26 gender)
Dialogue Intensive Study (10 race, 10 gender dialogues)
Dialogue Intensive Study (n=247)
Within Students of Color:
38% African American
36% Asian/Asian American
Significant Effects of Dialogue
PRE to POST Effect of Dialogue
Time X Condition Interaction
F(1,1349) = 50.92, p < .001, η2 = .036
PRE to 1-YR LATER Effect of Dialogue
Time X Condition Interaction
F(1,1157) = 7.70, p = .006, η2 = .007
STUDENTS IN DIALOGUE INCREASE MORE THAN CONTROL GROUPS IN:
AND ALL OF THESE ARE FOSTERED BY COMMUNICATION PROCESSES…..
AND THEN HELP ACCOUNT FOR IMPACT OF DIALOGUE ON THREE SETS OF OUTCOMES
Critical Reflection (α=.78)
“Examining the sources of my biases and assumptions.”
“Making Mistakes and reconsidering my opinions.”
“Thinking about issues that I may not have before.”
“Being able to disagree.”
“Sharing my views and experiences.”
“Asking questions that I felt I wasn’t able
to ask before.”
“Speaking openly without feeling judged.”
Learning from others (α=.86)
Alliance Building (α=.91)
“Hearing different points of view.”
“Learning from each other.”
“Hearing other students’ personal stories”
“Listening to other students’ commitment to work against injustices.”
“Talking about ways to take action on social issues.”
“Feeling a sense of hope about being able to challenge injustices.”
“Working through disagreements and conflicts.”WHAT ACCOUNTS FOR THESE EFFECTS? COMMUNICATION PROCESSES
CRUCIAL IMPORTANCE OF….
History and Development
Goals of CommonGround
Intercultural Maturity Model -
Patricia King & Marcia Baxter Magolda (2005)
Robert Keagan (1994)
conceptualize a lot of my thoughts on
social identity into more concrete terms.
It has also helped me make sense of a
lot of my realities and in doing so, has
also helped me to externalize the issues
I need to externalize. I have for too
long thought that I was to blame for
the things that have happened in my
life, but am now able to see the role
that my social identities play in my
everyday realities.” – Facilitator
was a surprise, and very helpful for how
I see myself - Participant
*Names of participants were changed to respect and protect their confidentiality.
Mportfolio, an integrative learning tool, incorporates the following unique components:
The Program on Intergroup Relations hosts annual Intergroup Dialogue National Institutes for faculty and staff who wish to learn our philosophy and techniques for the purpose of creating dialogue programs on their own campuses.