For several years, CD has been taught in a class called Performance in Social Context at ASU. Our goal for using CD in this type of class is to re-frame and re-name it as a performative method. Alexander suggests that critical performative pedagogy provides the opportunity to view ourselves and others as a “barometer of truth or reality” (p. 256). This reminder that pedagogy and performance are inclusive of dialogue and generative reflections of truth is a foundational component of the use of CD in this performance studies class.
CD is easily implemented into public speaking classes as a speaking format that encourages oral communication, audience analysis and active listening. At ASU, CD is used in public speaking classes as an extension of Griffin’s (2009) notion of invitational rhetoric and Obrien’s (2009) format for listener-centered public speaking. Instructors who use CD in public speaking classes remark that it offers students a way to fight communication apprehension (stage fright) because they are speaking together as a group rather than one at a time as a lone public speaker. It also allows students to practice impromptu speaking which is a difficult public speaking skill to teach/learn.
We love that many of our colleagues and former students have taken CD with them to other colleges and universities to use the format in a variety of courses. Our goal is to continue to find innovative ways of using Civil Dialogue in the classroom.
Alexander, B. K. “Performance and Pedagogy.” Sage Handbook of Performance Studies. Eds. S.
Madison & J. Hamera. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2006. 253-260.
Griffin, C. Invitation to Public Speaking (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2009.
O’Brien, L. A Speaker’s Resource. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2009.