A Format-Flexible Pedagogy of Civil Discourse
By Jennie Sweet-Cushman, Chatham University
College can be a formative time for exploring our political beliefs. As teachers, political scientists should be keenly interested in fostering this development through political discussion in the confines of the classroom while remaining aware of the pitfalls that accompany this engagement outside of it—particularly because much of this discussion takes place online. Accordingly, facilitating conversation in an online format is crucial to developing skills that translate to the larger political environment. Drawing on my experience in teaching synchronous class discussions on Twitter, this article explores best practices for using online discussions to model civil, substantive discourse and considerations for training students to be responsible in their independent political communications.