Resources for Difficult Dialogues in the Classroom

The climate in the classroom has the potential to be difficult at various points of a semester. The following resources were curated with the collaboration of Paulette Granberry-Russell of the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, Melissa McDaniels of The Graduate School, and Jim Lucas of the Office of the Associate Provost of Undergraduate Education.

MSU Resources


Academic Advancement Network Resources

Books available in the AAN Office Library

To borrow any of the following titles, stop by Room 308 of the Hannah Administration Building. Some titles are available electronically through MSU Libraries.

  • Brookfield, Stephen D. The Discussion Book: 50 Great Ways to Get People Talking.    
  • Chickering, Art (Foreword)   Encountering Faith in the Classroom: Turning Difficult Discussions into Constructive Engagement
  • Landis, Kay (ed.) Start Talking: A Handbook for Engaging Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education.  
  • Nash, Robert J. How to Talk About Hot Topics on Campus: From Polarization to Moral Conversation.
  • Roderick, Libby. Stop Talking: Indigenous Ways of Teaching and Learning and Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education.
  • Wheatley, Margaret J.  Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future


Categories of the Online Instructional Resources Database


Other MSU Resources


Bias Busters: Guides to Cultural Competence

i3 Education and Training Opportunities

Ideas for Disciplinary Content

Office of Institutional Equity Policies

Promoting Inclusion in Academic Environments

To My Professor: Student Voices for Great College Teaching


External Resources



Teaching in the Current Political Climate

Teaching and Learning in a Tense Election Season

Returning to the Classroom after the Election

Election 2016: Lesson Plans and Digital Resources for Educators

Producing and Consuming the Controversial--A Social Media Perspective on Political Conversations in the Social Science Classroom (article)

  • Andersson, E. (2016). Producing and Consuming the Controversial–A Social Media Perspective on Political Conversations in the Social Science Classroom. JSSE-Journal of Social Science Education, 15(1), 6-16. 



The Charlottesville Syllabus



Eight Actions to Reduce Racism in College Classrooms

Learning to Talk about Race in the Classroom

Project Implicit (Implicit Bias)

Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences That Make a Difference

  • Book by Stevenson, H. C. (2013). Teachers College Press.

Responding to Incidents of Hate Speech

Teaching Tolerance

Resources for Educators to Use in the Wake of Charlottesville

  • Resources curated by NPR--National Public Radio


Difficult Dialogues Guide

Difficult Dialogues Handbook, Strategies and Resources

Handbook for Facilitating Difficult Conversations

Inclusive Practices for Managing Controversial Issues

Inviting Dialogue

Managing Challenging Moments in the Classroom

Mindfulness and Discussing "Thorny" Issues in the Classroom (article)

  • Alexakos, K., Pride, L. D., Amat, A., Tsetsakos, P., Lee, K. J., Paylor-Smith, C., ... & Smith, T. (2016). Mindfulness and discussing “thorny” issues in the classroom. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 1-29.

Toolkit for Inclusive Learning Environments