Short abstracts of the presentations were submitted by many of the speakers in advance of the conference. The titles of those that were submitted are underlined; to view those abstracts, click on the title.

Title: Developing Through Dialogue

Lead Presenter: Seán Arthurs



Session Abstract: In the clinical field, and in the Street Law model in particular, one of the most commonly employed pedagogical approaches to increase student engagement, develop student voice, and maximize student retention is the small group discussion. And with good reason, as the benefits of classroom talk and discussion are myriad: deeper reading and comprehension skills, improved collaborative and reasoning skills, enhanced perspective taking and citizenship skills, as well as the development of numerous other academic, social, and emotional skills. But for many of us, while we know intuitively that discussion and dialogue are successful pedagogical tools, we may not be sure exactly why. This session will focus on explaining the theory of why discussions and dialogue are such critical developmental tools. By looking at different components of the discussion and dialogue experience, participants will gain a series of concrete insights into the best practices around facilitating discussions that help create more involved, more informed, and more ethical citizens. We will also examine why student-led dialogue and discussion helps students independently become more ethical and moral people. Here, we will consider Kohlberg's different stages of moral development and explore the role of the teacher in these discussions.

Session Material:

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See full list of abstracts here.