On Thursday, I decided not to teach my scheduled ethics class and, instead, put on the Kavanaugh hearings. During a break, we had about 30 minutes to talk as a class about the students’ impressions which ranged from he is lying to she is lying and everything in between (including the interruptions by the Judge, mistakes made, etc.) It was a really good session and I know the students were grateful to have the opportunity to talk. So, in my ADR class on Tuesday, I am going to return to this subject. I feel like we have a responsibility to equip them with some tools to deal with and talk about this incredible moment in history. And I’d love some advice!
So here is my classplan: with all sorts of caveats on how hard this is and that none of us actually know what happened, I would start with the fact that ADR is supposed to teach us how to communicate. And that we will often be negotiating with those with whom we completely disagree. So these tools are crucial as we discuss this hearing and politics (and, in Wisconsin, I know my classes are not all of the same political persuasion.)
I am thinking that I would start with teaching a little on partisan perceptions and then how we find it very hard to search for non-conforming data. They will already be in small teams and I thought that I would ask each group to list the data on each side. Then to chart that up on the board and talk about what would be the persuasive story that each side could tell. And finally to teach the ladder of inference chart where data becomes reasoning becomes conclusion.
Anything that I am missing? Tools you would add? Thanks much for any help!