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Assignment #1: (Week 2) The "self" has an essential function in dialogue

Assignment #1: (Week


The "self" has an essential function in dialogue. Without skillful management of ourselves, we are at the mercy of our unconscious operating systems. To upgrade our operating systems from "thought- or memory-based" to be more creative and "awareness-based," as both dialogue theorist W. B. Pearce is suggesting, we need to learn how to make this change at the moment. While the change is simple in nature, it can be challenging in practice.

For the first assignment, the idea is to shift from assumptions to mindfulness and awareness of our communication with others.

To make this shift from unconscious conversation into conscious dialogue, Assignment 1 is to identify a topic where a strong belief is held.

 Assignment Instructions

Part 1: Choose a subject that is meaningful to you and has opposing viewpoints. For this assignment, you will have a conversation with a colleague or friend where the other person has a different view than you.

Some examples: school choice/charter schools, eating meat or refraining from eating meat, vaccinating infants or avoiding vaccination, requiring identification to vote in state and federal elections, restricting junk food and soda in food deserts or at schools, or guidelines against children under age 10 having smartphones. Additional examples can be found by visiting the Claremont Lincoln University Virtual Library and searching "Opposing Viewpoints" under Gale in the A-Z Database.

Part 2: Go into the conversation with a strong commitment to understanding the other side of the issue; this will mean shifting from advocacy to inquiry as well as using active listening skills. With inquiry, you are now going to reflect more deeply on the other position. What elements of the opposing viewpoint may be correct? What were you not open to that you are now considering? What shifts are possible when you employ mindfulness and seek out an understanding of the opposing viewpoint?

Part 3: After your advocacy and inquiry conversation, reflect on what you learned about yourself and on active listening.

For this assignment, you will create a 5-10 slide presentation (PowerPoint or similar). Document your experience in the conversation and detail your shift from advocacy to an inquiry.

Include in Assignment 1:

  1. Opening information to introduce the issue and captivating the interest of the viewer by explaining why this topic is essential.
  2. brief explanation of the initial conversation when you were advocating your point of view.
  3. brief explanation of your thought process when you shifted to an inquiry.
  4. Address these questions:
  5. What changed for you when you moved from advocacy to inquiry?
  6. How did the person you were speaking to respond to your active listening?
  7. What aspects of your beliefs, assumptions, and opinions about the subject were challenged?
  8. Where did you become more aware of how your beliefs were preventing you from seeing the opposing viewpoint?
  9. Where were you closed to new ideas, and how did this exercise allow you to employ mindful techniques?
  10. What insights did you discover, and how do you see this as being necessary to the purposes of dialogue?

Use best practices for a slide presentation (don't overfill your slides with text, use visuals, create uncluttered slides that are easy for the viewer to navigate, and think carefully about how each slide contributes to your overall idea).

Information on the American Psychological Association (APA) style guide can be found in the APA style guide located in the CLU library or on the APA Style website. Additional tools are available through the student resources module. 

Due: Sunday by 11:59 pm (PST).


Assignment #1 Rubric

Assignment #1 Rubric

Criteria Ratings Pts This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome The presentation contained a detailed explanation of the initial conversation topic and thought process when shifted from advocacy to inquiry.

30.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome All six questions are addressed with details, explanations, and examples (either in the presentation or in the outline and notes).

90.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome The presentation outline and notes includes credible source support from a variety of course materials with APA style citations and references.

30.0 pts

Total Points: 150.0

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