KO Conversations: The Importance of Dialogue in a Community
Will Gilyard, Dean of Students
I must admit that I love my phone. It keeps me connected to people I love across the world; it almost instantaneously gives me access to information, and the amazing photos that it takes help me capture moments of my family that I will cherish forever.
And yet, sometimes you have to disconnect to reacquaint oneself with the people around you -- to learn about the folks in the community who are doing extraordinary things, students and adults who are totally committed to and passionate about an endeavor that they are undertaking.
Dialogue comes from the Greek word dialogos, which translates, into ‘through reason’. This translation suggests that dialogue is meant to elicit understanding through rational thought and logic. It also suggests that we can better understand ourselves and society at large through discourse.
The KO Conversations series is aimed at creating opportunities for students and faculty to learn together, to accomplish as a community what we cannot realize individually. These are opportunities to question, scrutinize, synthesize, find contradictions and/or inconsistencies without being offensive or rude, t so that we reach a better understanding through the shared experience of having these conversations.
Hopefully, through these exchanges, we will learn something about our peers and ourselves by examining our own assumptions, being empathetic, challenging assertions without judgment and actively searching for common ground as opposed to putting a stake in the sand with the express purpose of never budging.
Dialogue is challenging, but if we enter the space respectfully, with open hearts and examine others’ perspectives without judgment then we are speaking with each other, not to each other.
Located in West Hartford, CT just steps from Blue Back Square, Kingswood Oxford is a private school inspiring co-ed day students in grades 6-12 with a college preparatory curriculum. Empowered students become clear confident communicators, resourceful problem-solvers, and ethical leaders. KO: where unlimited potential meets endless opportunities.