An Integrated Approach to Diversity Education: Intergroup Dialogues

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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
“[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. 18 (2003).
The Program on Intergroup
Relations’ statement on integrative
learning
More than multi disciplinary study or interdisciplinary study alone, IGR
promotes integrative learning that is both interdisciplinary and lifewide 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.
IGR…an integrative joint-program
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.
IGR’s MISSION: To Pursue Social
Justice through Education
• As a joint venture of LSA and the Division of Student Affairs, IGR
serves this mission by:
--offering academic courses
--facilitating co-curricular activities
--conducting research
--offering consultation and training, and
--developing a Global Living-Learning Program
• Through these activities, IGR provides opportunities for students,
faculty, and staff to learn, cognitively and experientially, about issues
of intergroup relations,
--explicitly focusing on the relationships between social
conflict and social justice.
The Program on Intergroup
Relations
Theories of conflict and cognitive dissonance
o Conflict between social groups is predictable, should
not be repressed but should be expressed
constructively.
o Internal conflict when one’s values, beliefs and
assumptions are challenged with new information.
The Program on Intergroup
Relations
Contact theory
o Intergroup Contact Increases Understanding
o Important contact conditions
• Equal Status
• Sustained Personal Contact
• Supported by Authorities
The Program on Intergroup
Relations
Theories of “modern/aversive/symbolic” –isms
o Paradox between attitudes and behaviors.
o Conflict between conscious egalitarian values and
less-conscious aversions
The Program on Intergroup
Relations
Student Development Theory
o Understanding the cognitive and emotional growth
pathways to young adult development
o Allowing students to participate as partners in learning
Cognitive and Affective Design
• Low risk to high risk
• Personal to institutional
• Abstract to concrete
• Knowledge/awareness to application
Tabletop
• Discussion &
• Worksheet
VIDEO
• Intergroup Dialogue Video
• Face-to-face meetings between members of two (or
more) social groups that have a history of conflict or
potential conflict.
• The groups are broadly defined by race, ethnicity,
gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, socioeconomic class and other social group identities.
Intergroup Dialogue is…
• A STRUCTURED (but flexible) process
• SUSTAINED over an extended period of time
• FACILITATED by persons extensively and specifically trained in Intergroup
Dialogue methodology
• At Michigan, we believe that facilitation is best provided by
undergraduate peers.
In Dialogue, Participants Explore…
o Commonalities and differences within and between groups
o Differences in privilege and discrimination between groups
o Intergroup conflicts, and positive uses of conflict
o Possibilities for alliances and coalitions between groups, and
other strategies for social justice
MAJOR RESEARCH QUESTIONS
• DOES INTERGROUP DIALOGUE
• INCREASE INTERGROUP UNDERSTANDING, INTERGROUP
RELATIONSHIPS, AND COMMITMENT TO INTERGROUP
COLLABORATION?
• HOW DOES INTERGROUP DIALOGUE PRODUCE EFFECTS?
WHAT THE STUDY DID
• RANDOM ASSIGNMENT TO DIALOGUES OR CONTROL GROUPS
• USING QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE METHODS
• SURVEYS
• INTERVIEWS
• VIDEO TAPING
• CONTENT ANALYZING FINAL PAPERS
• ASSESSING STUDENTS
• BEGINNING OF TERM, END OF TERM, A YEAR LATER
PARTICIPANTS IN TOTAL STUDY AND
INTENSIVE DIALOGUE SUB-STUDY
52 Dialogue Experiments (26 race, 26 gender)
Dialogue Intensive Study (10 race, 10 gender dialogues)
Dialogue
(n=726)
Control
(n=721)
Dialogue Intensive
Study (n=247)
Within Students of Color:
38%
36%
21%
5%
African American
Asian/Asian American
Latino/a
Other
OVERALL EFFECTS IN THREE
SETS OF OUTCOMES
Significant Effects of Dialogue
• On 26 of 27 measures across intergroup understanding, intergroup
relationships, and intergroup action
• In both race and gender dialogues on 24 of 27 measures – on 3 significant
effects only in race dialogues
• For all 4 groups of students on 26 of 27 measures
• Still evident a year later on 24 of 27 measures – smaller but still reliable.
COLLABORATIVE ACTION
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
IGD
Months
WHAT ACCOUNTS FOR THESE
EFFECTS? LEARNING
STUDENTS IN DIALOGUE INCREASE MORE THAN CONTROL GROUPS IN:
• ACTIVE THINKING
• ENGAGED LEARNING
• CONSIDERATION OF MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES
• POSITIVE EMOTIONS IN INTERGROUP SETTINGS
• POSITIVE INTERGROUP INTERACTIONS
• IDENTITY ENGAGEMENT
AND ALL OF THESE ARE FOSTERED BY COMMUNICATION PROCESSES…..
AND THEN HELP ACCOUNT FOR IMPACT OF DIALOGUE ON THREE SETS OF
OUTCOMES
WHAT ACCOUNTS FOR THESE
EFFECTS?
COMMUNICATION PROCESSES
Engaging Self (α=.83)
“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.”
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.”
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.”
RELEVANCE FOR ALL OF US
CRUCIAL IMPORTANCE OF….
• STUDENTS GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER PERSONALLY & NONSUPERFICIALLY ACROSS BACKGROUNDS & CULTURES
• HELPING THEM UNDERSTAND INDIVIDUATION IS NOT ALL THERE IS –
THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF CULTURE, GROUPS, INEQUALITIES IN SOCIAL
AND ORGANIZATIONAL LIFE
• CONNECTING SUBSTANTIVE & DISCIPLINARY KNOWLEDGE TO THESE
INTERCULTURAL COMPETENCIES
Tabletop
• Discussion &
• Worksheet
VIDEO
• CommonGround Video
 Response to student need for increased access to social justice
education
 Necessity to be congruent with departmental philosophy of
education:
 Peer-facilitation
 Student-centered leadership
 Mindfulness of power imbalances
 Utilization of theory
 Contributions to research

Cultivate knowledge, insight, and awareness around social issues
and intergroup relations

Provide an opportunity for students to talk about issues of identity,
social issues, conflict and communication and to encourage further
exploration

Recognize similarities and differences that exist both within groups
and across identities

Foster reflection and discussion about individuals’ own identities
and their intersectionality

Instill a capacity to continue involvements in social justice and/or
social change after graduation
CommonGround Workshops
 U-M student organizations, faculty, offices and programs request and
engage in workshops
 1.5 - 3 hour time frame
 Topics include: identity, privilege, oppression, civic engagement, etc.
 Why Are All the ______ Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?; The
Media: Seeing is Believing; Understanding the Campus Climate; Why
Don’t You Understand Me?!
Structure of CommonGround
• Workshop Facilitators
• Student Leaders
• Participants
• Requestors
Utilization of Self-Authorship &
Intercultural Maturity Model
Intercultural Maturity Model Patricia King & Marcia Baxter Magolda (2005)
• Development of intercultural maturity as desired college outcome
• 3 dimensions of framework:
• Intrapersonal
• Interpersonal
• Cognitive
• Theory to Practice
Self-Authorship Model
Robert Keagan (1994)
• Students who interpret and learn from experiences on their own engage in
a mode of meaning making, called “self-authorship”
Logic Model for Student Development
CommonGround Workshop Program Logic Model
Students are recruited
into leadership
positions, which
include:
 Graduate Intern
 Program
Coordinators
 Student
Coordinators
 Small Group
Facilitators
Workshop Facilitators
Activities
Students in the program
work collaboratively with
one another and staff to
organize and implement:
 Workshops

 Training
 Recruitment
 Marketing
 Community
events.
Workshops focus on
concepts of social justice
such as:
 Social identities
 Power
 Privilege
 Oppression
 Social Equality
 Group Dynamics
 Communication
Workshop Participants
Student Leadership
Input
Graduate and
undergraduate
students are recruited
to become workshop
facilitators.
Students are trained on
facilitation skills and
concepts of social justice
through:
 Off-campus retreats

 Planning Meetings
 Reflections
 Personal Support
Outputs
Outcomes
Impact
Cognitive
Increased leadership and
organization skills
Intrapersonal
 Development of leadership
skills and style
Students develop as
more well-rounded,
 intelligent, and inclusive
leaders.

Interpersonal
Interaction with other
student leaders
Cognitive
Understanding basic social
justice concepts.
Intrapersonal
Increased self-awareness
 and social identity
Interpersonal
Engagement across identity
differences
The workshops that U-M
students are exposed to
increase their
understanding and
experience of how their
 (and others) social
identities impact their
everyday experiences.
Interpersonal
Facilitating workshops with
diverse groups.
Students who are more
capable of facilitating
 difficult concepts,
activities, and
workshops.
A more inclusive
campus climate

Increased comfort
with communicating
across identities.

Advancement of cocurricular pedagogy.

Development of an
applicable workshop
program for peer
institutions to model.
 
Establishment of a
program that models a
student-centered
mission.

Commitment to
collaboration with
across other U-M
offices, programs and
student organizations.
Cognitive
Increase in knowledge of
facilitation concepts
Intrapersonal
 Development of facilitation
skills and style


Outcomes-Based Research
 Methods
Student Voice
Surveys
Focus Groups
1:1 Interviews
Emails
 Qualitative and Quantitative
Evaluation and Assessment ~ The
Trajectory
• Pilot: Winter 2007 – August 2007
• Participant Evaluation
• Validation of CommonGround
• Year One: Fall 2007 – Summer 2008
• Reevaluated Participant Evaluation
• Workshop Facilitator Reflections
• Preliminary use of theory in research and assessment
• Year Two: Fall 2008 – Summer 2009
• Incorporated Intercultural Maturity, Self-Authorship as guiding forces for research
interpretation. Did very limited quantitative research on facilitator impact.
• Began the process of developing Learning Outcomes and Research Structure
• Developed Logic Model for CommonGround
• Year Three: Fall 2009 – Present
• Structured and Formalized Research Project
• Solidified Learning Goals and research Questions
• Obtained IRB
• Conducted Workshop facilitator focus group and analysis of transcripts.


Goal: Cultivate knowledge, insight, and awareness around social
issues and intergroup relations
Facilitator: “I think my experience here also let me know about
America in terms of ….social identity, so I can share with other
international students to let them know more about these issues in
the United States”

Goal: Foster reflection and discussion about individuals’ own
identities and their intersectionality

“…CommonGround has helped me to
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

Some of what I discovered about myself
was a surprise, and very helpful for how
I see myself - Participant

Goal: Instill a capacity to continue involvements in social justice
and/or social change after graduation

“I am currently in the Political Science stream, but because of this
experience, I am considering pursuing a career that will allow to not only
continue using my facilitation skills, but also one that will ultimately involves
me pursuing a social justice issue.” --Facilitator
CommonGround Facilitator
Evaluation Research Questions
• What effect does Common Ground have on learning about:
• Social justice concepts
• Facilitation
• What effect does CommonGround have on student learning
about:
• Values and social identity
• Interpersonal relationships in different settings
• Conflict across social identities
• How are facilitators integrating what they learn from
CommonGround and applying it to their classes, personal lives
and other activities?
Focus Group Preliminary Results
Themes
• Expansion of knowledge and depth on social justice issues
• Facilitator #1: “This program has expanded my ideas and my passion for social
justice.”*
• Greater awareness of own social identities
• Facilitator #2: “I actually joined CommonGround because I feel like an agent (in)
pretty much all (of) my identities. And one thing that was interesting for me was
learning more about my target identity.”
• Supportive Environment and Family Atmosphere
• Facilitator #3: “I’ve never been more affirmed by a group of people in my entire life.”
*Names of participants were changed to respect and
protect their confidentiality.
Focus Group Preliminary Results
Themes
• Feeling of burden from all the social injustices
• Facilitator #1: “A lot of things that were brought up while I facilitated
around inequalities was more than just addressing (inappropriate)
language, but more so… taking action systematically. I haven’t been
able to find that.”
• Greater confidence understanding social identities in facilitation
• Facilitator #2: “I think my experience here also let me know about
America in terms of ….social identity, so I can share with other
international students to let them know more about these issues in the
United States”
Tabletop
• Discussion &
• Worksheet
Mportfolio.umich.edu
Mportfolio, an integrative learning tool, incorporates the following unique
components:
• Valuing Learning From All Aspects of Life
Help students identify learning from all areas of their life, bridge their
college experiences to other life experiences, and demonstrate how
their underlying values and beliefs connect to their learning
• Documenting Learning Beyond Graduation
Develop students' abilities to recognize "a-ha" moments in their lives
and encourage them to document their knowledge, skills, and
contributions beyond graduation
• Understanding What We Know, Value, and Believe
Retrieving, reflecting, integrating, and documenting knowledge that has
been gained through experience and connecting that knowledge to
values, beliefs, and decision making
• Supporting Assessment and Accountability
Students reflect on their learning, recognize how that learning relates to
competencies, and demonstrate how those competencies inform their
practice
Invitation to our National
Intergroup Dialogue Institute
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.
• The next National Institute will be held June 8-11, 2011 in Ann
Arbor, Michigan.
• Join us in learning about intergroup dialogue and how you might use
it at your institution!
• Participate in engaging activities commonly used in intergroup
dialogue settings
• Explore the overall dialogue framework and The Michigan Model
• Strategize the development and support of academic and cocurricular programs
• http://www.igr.umich.edu/about/institute
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