Rules for Class Discussion*
1. Acknowledge that racism, classism, sexism,
heterosexism, and other institutionalized forms of oppression exist.
2. Acknowledge that one mechanism of
institutionalized racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, and the like
is that we are all systematically misinformed about our own group and about
members of other groups.
3. Agree not to blame ourselves or
others for the misinformation we have learned, but to accept responsibility
for not repeating misinformation after we have learned otherwise.
4. Agree not to "blame victims" for
the conditions of their lives.
5. Assume that people, both the groups
we study and the members of the class, always do the best they can.
6. Actively pursue information about
our own groups and those of others.
7. Share information about our groups
with other members of the class, and never demean, devalue, or in any way
"put down" people for their experiences.
8. Agree to combat actively the myths
and stereotypes about our own groups and other groups so that we can break
down the walls that prohibit group cooperation and group gain.
9. Create a safe atmosphere for open
discussion. If members of the class wish to make comments that they do
not want repeated outside the classroom, they can preface their remarks
with a request that the class agree not to repeat the remarks.
*Ground rules taken
from Lynne Weber Cannonís article, "Fostering Positive Race, Class, and
Gender Dynamics in the Classroom." Women's Studies Quarterlv, 1990:1
& 2: 126-134.