How important is academic discourse that promotes new understandings and allows us to question what we know? In the current age of instant-messaging and Twitter®, does academic conversation have a place? Frankly, we think that academic discourse is more important now than ever.
Our civil society functions best when students, instructors, neighbors, and communities come together to question the information before us, so that decisions and directions are viable, helpful, and ethical. Academic conversations help us sort through the important and not-so-important themes of our lives and how we are to live. Academic conversations show us other ways of viewing, and they grow our own repertoire of ideas. Academic conversations teach us wonder, tolerance, humility, and the important fact that the world is bigger than our backyard.
Understanding the art and pragmatism of academic conversations requires a building of trust, a willingness to share, and a mind for critical thinking. Guidance for holding conversations with meaning and doing philosophy with learners is modeled, as well as how implementing classroom and collegial discourse benefits our society.