Intellectual Safety

In order to develop respectful relationships between all members of a group or community (classroom, team, family unit, etc.), there must be a clear and strong presence of intellectual safety. The group leader states: “All participants in our community – youth and adults – must feel free to ask any question or state any opinion as long as respect for all persons is honored”. This statement can be written and displayed prominently. The group members discuss what kind of environment they all want to create, by listing examples (ie. honesty, eye contact, positive feedback) and counter-examples (ie. lying, name-calling, interrupting) of an intellectually safe place. All members make an agreement to put words into practice. The next step can be creating a Talking Stick or Community Ball. (See also: Talking Stick & Philosophy for Children) (Makaiau, A.S. , 2015)