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    Vassar College
   
 
  Feb 18, 2018
 
 
    
Catalogue 2017-2018
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EDUC 155 - Building Inclusive Communities

Semester Offered: Fall
0.5 unit(s)


In response to tensions that arise annually in residential spaces related to both difficulty navigating conversations related to social identity and seemingly “less important” (yet almost always significant) disagreements/conflicts related to co-habitating or sharing common space, this course provides students with experiences, skills and practice that support their efforts to live in communities in more intentional and inclusive ways. This course provides students with opportunities and training in conflict management and resolution, communicating in ways that embrace conflict, investing in relationships and connecting with their peers, and dialogue across differences in personal and social identities about challenging topics. We teach a number of concrete tools from traditional dialogue facilitation to engage issues related to power and identity (multipartiality and the LARA methods for engaging in conversation around tense topics) and communal living techniques to address tensions that arise when living in a community (using an empowerment model from the organization, “Be present,” and meeting structures like “Elephant in the Room”).  

It is our goal to help students learn how to create a culture in their residential communities where people are more effective about communicating in ways that allow for growth. Enrolled students should express an interest in learning techniques, gaining tools and increasing skills to learn to communicate across differences (differences in living styles and habits, differences in social identity, and differences in personal identity) effectively.  Students, we hope, take those skills back to their living spaces to use in important ways. Colette Cann.

Second six-week course.

One 3-hour period.



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