Professional Development Training

EDUCATING FOR PLURALISM: Professional Development Training

Pluralism is an ethic of respect for diversity. In a pluralistic society, the dignity of each person is recognized and everyone feels they belong.

Educating for pluralism responds to the challenges and opportunities of a changing, diverse and connected world by answering the question: How do we foster a positive understanding of and engagement with diversity?

Grounded in our evidenced-based Learning Framework, the Global Centre for Pluralism’s Professional Development Training will help educators:

  • Learn about pluralism and experience working through different perspectives
  • Build the knowledge, skills and attitudes to respond positively and engage with diversity
  • Develop strategies to integrate pluralism in their teaching and specific educational contexts and institutions

 

This  global training will involve six weeks of moderated, interactive, self-paced sessions.

Sample outline of our initial training:

MODULE 1: Identity, Diversity and Inclusion

CENTRAL IDEA: Pluralism is an ethic of respect for diversity and includes understanding who I am and why

This module is designed to help you understand that:

  • The learning outcomes of educating for pluralism are based on acquiring knowledge, skills and attitudes that recognizes the dignity of each person and contributes to a sense of belonging
  • The concept of a worldview supports the exploration of personal and social identity and how our context shapes belonging and inclusion
  • Through active inquiry about our own identity, and the diverse identity of others, our assumptions, biases and norms are revealed.

MODULE 2: Historical Narratives and Belonging

CENTRAL IDEA: Thinking critically about historical narratives leads to better understanding of the views we hold of who belongs

This module is designed to help you understand that:

  • Historical narratives are often one-sided, which results in the exclusion of certain events, groups and different interpretations of significant events
  • Historical thinking involves asking critical questions that help us make sense of how events are presented and why
  • When we make an ongoing effort to analyze historical narratives, we better understand the dominant worldview in our societies, and opinions that exist on who has power and who belongs

MODULE 3: Exploring Dialogue: Purpose and Practice

CENTRAL IDEA: Dialogue is essential for seeking mutual understanding and increasing belonging

This module is designed to help you understand that:

  • The aim of dialogue is to understand one another better, and not necessarily to always agree with one another
  • Dialogue requires active listening and critical reflection
  • Participating in dialogue about controversial social and political issues can build the skills and attitudes needed to respect differences, overcome conflict and build peaceful and prosperous societies

MODULE 4: Facilitating Dialogue: The Role of Educators

CENTRAL IDEA: Facilitation supports inclusive dialogue where beliefs and opinions are critically examined; and, different perspectives are welcomed, appreciated, and deeply understood

This module is designed to help you understand that:

  • Dialogue facilitation involves creating a safe and brave space that begins with setting ground rules, agreements and boundaries
  • There are different styles and approaches to facilitation, however they all require a facilitator to be observant and to guide dialogue participants to be comfortable with complexity, discomfort, and multiple viewpoints
  • Asking good follow-up questions facilitates the development of self-awareness and critical thinking skills

MODULE 5: Digital Pluralism: Respectful and Inclusive Online Spaces

CENTRAL IDEA: Applying a pluralism lens to digital spaces can build online communities where differences are valued, and human dignity is upheld

This module is designed to help you understand that:

  • Digital pluralism requires consideration of both “hardware” (e.g. legislation, policies, practices, and monitoring mechanisms) and “software” (e.g. norms, beliefs, attitudes, language, and narratives) that together,advance positive relationships and inclusion online
  • Identifying echo chambers and filter bubbles and understanding their role in limiting access to multiple viewpoints, is part of what it means to be digitally literate
  • Counter speech, where appropriate, can counter hate speech and its negative consequences, by providing positive examples and messages about diversity and inclusion

MODULE 6: Pluralism in Practice

CENTRAL IDEA: Transferring actionable knowledge on pluralism into daily practice requires planning, ongoing effort and collaboration

This module is designed to help you understand that:

  • Multiple and concurrent efforts in education are needed to ensure human differences are valued and everyone feels like they belong
  • An online learning community provides ongoing dialogue and collaboration opportunities to educators to support them in advancing pluralism. Pluralism is a lifelong commitment and educators play a key role in advancing it

 

PROJECT TRAJECTORY

In 2021, the Centre is piloting its Professional Development Training. To realize this project, we are seeking a wide range of partners. We invite expressions of interest to join this effort.

To learn more about the Education Program, contact the Education team at [email protected]