Also think about whether the work should be divided into other parts. The definition of Community agreements or basic rules can encourage a better dialogue with itself, the group and the Community. As Monica Brasov-Curca told me on Facebook: “During a wonderful dialogue training, the coach divided the basic exercise into 3 parts. 1.) Community Agreement 2.) Workshop conditions 3.) The intentions of the participants. And the three of us contributed to the creation. It`s really beautiful. You can also use group agreements for group project jobs. Give each group time to develop their own agreements on how they will work together. This can help relieve stress from ambiguous expectations of group work, help students defend themselves, and resolve conflicts together. Recently, I have been rethinking community agreements. When is it better to propose principles to the group and when is it better for a group to create its own? For my graphic presentation practice workshops, I could start the room with a poster like the one in the image above – and ask the group if they have any changes or additions. That`s how you set the tone forward in space, it works well, but only in situations with little conflict.
For years, I`ve always asked groups to write them down together, but in brief meetings or focus groups, if time is very valuable or the group doesn`t get together for a high-stakes conversation, it may seem trivial to ask the group to participate in these container building activities. In Getting to Know You, the Morningside Center`s brochure on early school year educational activities, we offer guidelines that help the class build a list of “community conventions.” These differ in several respects from the “class rules”. Community agreements are drawn up in collaboration with the students and contain proposals from students. Community conventions apply to both teachers and pupils. Community agreements meet both the needs of pupils and the needs of teachers. Community agreements involve things that the class wants, not just things that the class wants to avoid. Sometimes participants do not respect the Community agreements they establish for themselves and for others. If this happens, the agreement, which everyone has actively accepted, makes it easier to address a certain behavior. As a tutor or teacher, you can point out disrespect and collectively ask the class how they want to handle it.
Or you can refer to the agreement and ask the person to change their behavior so that it complies with the agreements. Both are useful, and what you do depends on how much time you have and the extent of the problem. The more you can democratize execution, the more buy-ins you are likely to have, so consider it an exercise in strengthening shared responsibility and not the exercise of your authority. In one of your first joint lessons, invite students to think about what they need to make the classroom environment safer, fairer, and more productive for learning: what would best help us work together? You can do this through custom writing requests, think pair sharing, or another active learning strategy. After giving students time to think and discuss in small groups, create a list of agreements together. You can also ask this question in advance via email or quercus and let students contribute digitally to idea generation. Other opportunities to reach group agreements may be better suited to shorter meetings or workshops or to groups that do not deal with emotional or controversial topics. This includes: but I recently returned from a Lewis Deep Democracy training, with more clarity. Community agreements or “safe rules” in LDD jargon can be a profound way to build trust and security in conflict management.
And they don`t have to be the first thing we do together (!) . . . .