10 ways for Civil Discourse that doesn’t taste like broccoli

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copyright-symbols-and-rules-you-need-to-know-04 2015

Intellectual Property of Dr. Bruce D. Watson, DEd Melbourne and attributed authors as noted.

For Private individual use. All rights reserved.

Published: www.academia.edu

Attribution – Adapted from:

“Civil discourse that doesn’t taste like broccoli”, By Liz Joyner, http://tinyurl.com/ltcevjk

and “Civil discourse in the age of social media”, By Reynol Junco and Arthur W. Chickering,  http://tinyurl.com/ncdfzx5

More and more facts will not, usually, make people re-examine their positions.

Nor will a sense of civic duty.

Technological innovation,  has created a world of information literally at our fingertips, and many people are  increasingly choosing to associate only with their “tribe” rather than bravely disagree face to face.

Hunkered up at home with information sources that serve as a virtual amen chorus for everything they want to believe, they can’t seem to tolerate the people they used to share town meetings with.

In “The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-minded America is Tearing Us Apart,” Bill Bishop documents how, in nearly all aspects of life, they’ve become less connected to those who don’t share their views – in the colleges, in the neighbourhoods we live in.

No longer engaging across the aisle with neighbours, there’s little to mitigate the human tendency toward tribalism. Once they’ve demonised each other, the simple act of talking is tantamount to negotiating with evil.

Unfortunately, asking citizens to engage civilly online is like asking them to eat their broccoli. They know it’s good for them, but they’d rather have a slice of chocolate cake – the televised 24/7 partisan smack-downs a remote click away.

Civil discourse is our ability to have conversation about topics about which we disagree, and our ability to listen to each others’ perspectives.

Civil dialogue and civil discourse begin at home.

We all have role to play in fostering civil discourse.

For centuries issues of civil discourse only arose concerning written and oral communication. But now, new technologies for communication and social interaction, particularly social media, have dramatically expanded the potential tor human interaction. They generate significant challenges for institutional policies and practices to encourage and sustain civil discourse for the critical social and personal issues we and our students face.

To address the challenge of new technologies for communication and social interaction, particularly social media, that have dramatically expanded the potential tor human interaction, Reynol Junco and Arthur W. Chickering review emerging trends in social media, discuss problems that arise with their use, and provide recommendations tor helping us use social media in civil and productive ways. They say:

Academics and others have studied both the positive and negative effects of the technologies. For instance, there is no doubt that using online technology at high rates and in certain ways is related to poor academic and psychosocial outcomes. However, researchers have also found that some uses of technology, such as for educationally relevant purposes, are related to positive academic and psychosocial outcomes.

Given the double-edged potential of communication technologies, it is important for professionals to familiarize themselves with how such technologies can influential in order to support usage that leads to positive outcomes and also to intervene to help professionals whose technology use has caused or may cause negative outcomes.

We might individually:

  1. make a formal commitment to supporting pluralism (a diversity of views and stands rather than a single approach or method of interpretation);
  1. recognise the educational value of open sharing and examination of diverse views;
  1. recognise that online forms of expression are as important to human development as traditional oral and written expressions;
  1. emphasise the importance of and practice respect and civility;
  1. emphasise and practice the critical need tor valid information, solid evidence, and explicit information about our sources;
  1. require that personal identification be part of all communications and interactions;
  1. designate a clear focus of responsibility for monitoring online communications and interactions,
  1. aim for strengthening the educational uses of the emerging communication and interaction technologies

10. be honest

With easier methods of online communication, difficulties in interpersonal communications have surfaced.

It is incumbent upon professionals to navigate the world of online communication. It is important to remember that while the use of technology can have negative effects on psychosocial development, we can use technology in ways that optimise their development and success. If we as professionals, keep that notion in mind, we can go far in helping us achieve greater and healthier levels of our own and others’ development.

Attribution – Adapted from:

“Civil discourse that doesn’t taste like broccoli”, By Liz Joyner, http://tinyurl.com/ltcevjk

and “Civil discourse in the age of social media”, By Reynol Junco and Arthur W. Chickering,  http://tinyurl.com/ncdfzx5

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