Date of Award

5-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Educational Leadership

Advisor

Dr. Tony Cawthon

Committee Member

Dr. Leslie Gonzales

Committee Member

Dr. Cassie Quigley

Committee Member

Dr. Cheryl Warner

Abstract

Institutions of higher education have recently articulated the value of creating environments where diverse individuals can interact. However, 'educators have been challenged to articulate clearly the educational purposes and benefits of diversity' (Gurin, Dey, Hurtado, & Gurin, 2002, p. 330). Intergroup dialogue is one approach that has been utilized in academic settings to further social justice education (Dessel & Rogge, 2008). This approach 'combines experiential learning and dialogic bridge-building methods with critical analysis of socially constructed group differences and the systems of stratification that give rise to intergroup conflicts and social injustice' (p. 10). While there is a body of intergroup dialogue research, particularly related to diversity outcomes experienced by participants (Dessel, Rogge, & Garlington, 2006; Gurin, Dey, Hurtado, & Gurin, 2002; Gurin, Nagda, & Lopez, 2004; Gurin, Nagda, & Sorenson, 2011; Gurin, Nagda, & Zúñiga, 2013; Holley, Larson, Adelman, & Trevino, 2007; Miller & Donner, 2000), there is a dearth of research on dialogue facilitation. This study served to extend the body of research by using qualitative inquiry to represent how Peer Dialogue Facilitators articulate and demonstrate knowledge, skills and behaviors that are necessary for intergroup dialogue facilitation. The study utilized a case study approach to provide an 'in-depth description and analysis of a bounded system' (Merriam, 2009, p. 40). The bounded system in this case was Peer Dialogue Facilitators, who are responsible for facilitating sessions of the New Student Dialogue program, at Clemson University. Five pairs of co-facilitators were observed throughout the New Student Dialogue program. Peer Dialogue Facilitators also participated in interviews and shared information about their facilitation experience in class discussions. Results and discussion illuminate the main categories of knowledge, skills, and behaviors that Peer Dialogue Facilitators demonstrated and articulated were necessary for effective dialogue facilitation. Knowledge, skills and behaviors had some discrete themes, but the majority of findings indicated the overlapping nature of these categories. The integration of knowledge, skills and behaviors is essential to the facilitation of a fluid and dynamic environment that must be created for effective intergroup dialogue facilitation.

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