Including More Viewpoints in Discussions

Making classrooms more inclusive means making space for marginalized viewpoints. In an effort to bring those varied perspectives to the discussion, faculty can ask members of marginalized groups to speak up, but relying on students to represent their entire culture places unfair burdens on them. Here is a technique that can allow more viewpoints to be represented in classroom talks.

If anyone in the discussion feels that a particular point of view isn’t being addressed or taken seriously, they can call for this five-minute exercise to be used.

The group then takes five minutes to consider the issue at hand from that particular viewpoint. Everyone really tries to adopt that perspective and support it, without any criticism. Only those speaking in support of the viewpoint can speak during these five minutes, and anyone else must remain silent.

Questions and prompts:

  • What is interesting or helpful about this viewpoint? What value or insight does it add?
  • What unique ideas might we miss without this perspective?
  • What would be different if we truly believed this perspective? How would our thinking, actions, or systems be different? How would our worldview change?
  • Under what conditions might this view be true or most valuable?
hands raised to speak
Published: May 5, 2021 9:26am