Special Topics: Generative Dialogue in Community & Research Settings: Theory, Method, Ethics

Course Number
CHL8001H F1
8000 (Special Topics)
Course Instructor(s)
Blake Poland

Course Description

From community engagement to the semi-structured research interview, deliberative process to mediation and the learning organization, dialogue and its core elements (capacity to listen/hear, being heard, speaking one’s truth, navigating institutional agendas, storytelling, dialogue across differences) are central. What is authentic dialogue? How does it apply in research and in public health and community development practice? This course will explore the nature and lived experience of dialogue in its many forms, as well as the many methods that have sprung up around it and that offer a rich and varied toolkit for health and social care professionals, as well as the ethical and pedagogical issues arising from the instrumentalization of dialogue.

Course Objectives

• To explore diverse threads and perspectives within the field broadly defined as “dialogical methods”, from Bakhtin and Habermas to Rosenberg, Freire, Bohm and beyond
• To learn about the theory and practice of dialogue as operationalized in a variety of specific methodologies, including NVC, Structured Story-Dialogue, World Café, Open Space, The Art of Convening, Brokered Dialogue, Literacy Circles, Circles of Compassion, talking circles, & more
• To explore the merits and potential pitfalls of the application of dialogical methods in the field of public health, and their translation/reinvention into settings that may differ significantly from the conditions of their emergence and initial application
• To explore the potential contribution of dialogical methods to reflexive practice development
• To reflect upon, and discuss, how these methods, debates, and authors’ works resonate and intersect with our own personal and professional development and work
• To learn about dialogical methods not only through texts and discussion, but also through modelling its practices in our interactions, course structure, and methods of ‘e-value-ation’