We explore truthful dialogue as a means of developing cultural competence, in particular the skill of managing the dynamics of difference. We discuss specific incidents in a year-long conflict which occurred in a teacher-education cohort between an African-American Christian woman and a White Jewish lesbian. In truthful dialogue, the participants are encouraged to examine themselves--their feelings and their experiences—and to speak together in the pursuit of mutual understanding. The facilitator(s) assist them in communicating in a way that feels safe for all involved, so that they use the experience as a way to increase their personal cultural competence. Finally, if appropriate, the facilitators assist in planning for some kind of action, such as our final, whole-group, facilitated session with the cohort.
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Meltzoff, Nancy and Gary, Carla
Northwest Journal of Teacher Education: Vol. 7
, Article 11.