National Institute for Urban School Improvement
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part of the Education Reform Networks

Skilled Dialogue


When we interact with students, whether to assess or to instruct, we are in dialogue with them; that is, we are transmitting and exchanging meaning across the boundaries of their identities and our own. Skilled Dialogue© is a relational approach to communication and interactions that stems from the evidence-based premise that three qualities characterize cultural competence: respect, reciprocity, and responsiveness. When integrated, the qualities and skills generate a framework of guidelines and strategic questions that help ensure culturally competent assessment and instruction of culturally and linguistically diverse students. This On Point first describes Skilled Dialogue’s qualities and skills. Readers are then introduced to the guidelines and strategic questions.
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