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Assessing the Benefits, Challenges and Barriers of Peer Intergroup Dialogue Facilitation

Hwang, Scott (2024) Assessing the Benefits, Challenges and Barriers of Peer Intergroup Dialogue Facilitation. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This research project examines Intergroup Dialogue courses in The Program on Intergroup Relations at the University of Michigan. I investigate the various reasons why the demand for these courses which peaked in the late 90s and early 2000’s started to decline in 2018. With partisanship at an all-time high in our society, and the ability and willingness to have discourse at an all-time low, the assumption would be that the skills taught in this program would be sought after.
Research has shown intergroup dialogue to be a beneficial experience for participants; yet little research has focused on the experience or outcomes for student facilitators. This study will focus on facilitators that ranged from the Fall of 2018 all the way through May of 2022. During this period there was turnover in teaching instructors who taught these courses and supervised student facilitators, several curriculum changes including a shortened training course, and a shift to online learning through the Covid-19 pandemic. The results of this study revealed that student facilitators perceived an overall positive experience because of the community they built through taking the courses, as well as the applicable skills in working with people different from themselves. One of the main barriers to taking the courses was the perceived time commitment spent in the facilitation course. These tasks involved weekly preparation to lead the dialogue amongst their peers, as well as weekly review of peer journals. The data also revealed that students who took a semester-long training course versus those who took a mini-course felt more prepared to facilitate, as well as felt a greater sense of community through the cohort model that was created through the whole 2-semester process. There has always been a tension between finding the right balance to fully prepare students to facilitate and the time commitment it takes versus the increasingly busy lives of students. The facilitation experience is fruitful, but it is a matter of convincing students that the process is worth the commitment and sacrifice.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hwang, Scottskh34@pitt.eduskh340009-0002-9473-8702
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairAkiva, Tomtomakiva@pitt.edutomakiva
Committee MemberGarcia,
Committee MemberMaxwell,
Date: 16 May 2024
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 27 November 2023
Approval Date: 16 May 2024
Submission Date: 14 March 2024
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 65
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Intergroup Dialogue
Date Deposited: 16 May 2024 17:19
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 17:19

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