New Free Resource Lets Students Talk Politics With Honesty & Civility

Essential Partners’ new free workbook uses reflection to prepare students for healthier, more open political discussions

Cambridge, MA, Oct. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Essential Partners has published a free educational resource to help students have more open, curious, civil discussions about politics and the 2020 election.

“My Political Autobiography” provides a series of reflective exercises and interview prompts to help students explore, articulate, and share the experiences, relationships, and values that underlie their own political beliefs. Once students understand that political views have histories and origins, they are able to engage one another in healthier political discourse both inside and outside of the classroom.

“Politics is one of the ways we express our fundamental hopes and values, which is why it can be so hard to talk about,” says John Sarrouf, Essential Partners co-Executive Director. “Reflecting on the origins and histories of their own political views will help students talk about the election and other political topics with less defensiveness and more curiosity. It opens students up to other, different perspectives—even if they never change their minds.”

Already dealing with the challenges of remote learning and pandemic health precautions, educators across the country are also working to hold important conversations around the upcoming election. They face grim prospects, however, from toxic classroom arguments or anxious silence to the potential repercussions of expressing a partisan preference in a polarized professional environment.

This free resource helps educators navigate that terrain by empowering students to lead civil political discussions with insights drawn from their own experiences.

“My Political Autobiography” has been developed as part of a grant from Communities in Mind, which supports a multi-year research and innovation project to adapt Essential Partners’ approach, Reflective Structured Dialogue, for secondary and middle school contexts.

The goal of this project is to help students engage in the type of open, inclusive, civil public discourse that is essential for their educations as well as a healthy democracy.

Download the resource for free at the Essential Partners website.



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