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Teach Different.

Discover the conversation technique that's using science to defeat polarization.

Teach Different.

Discover the technique that's making unforgettable conversations routine.

The Teach Different Method is a conversation technique conceived by teachers in response to the traumatic experience of a high school sophomore on the west side of Chicago in 2017.

What started out as a really bad class turned into a really good conversation about revenge the next day which became an obsession to use short quotes to start classroom discussions about ideas that really matter to young people.

Through hundreds of hours of iteration, a worldwide pandemic and input from stakeholders at all levels of education, the Teach Different Method was born and now serves as the key framework for engagement of students, families and schools in our conversation projects.

The Teach Different Method

Neuroscience & The Teach Different Method: A Perfect Coupling

If you’re concerned about young people being addicted to their phones, here’s a thought that’s even more unsettling.

For years, brain science has explored neural coupling, a powerful event where human brain activity syncs during live, face-to-face conversations. This phenomenon isn’t just about talking and listening.  Great conversations actually foster empathy, bring out emotions, and trigger hormones that evoke feelings of belonging and trust. 

When we are texting and making posts on social media, we aren’t realizing the benefits of this coupling.  No wonder the Internet has become a place for extreme views, miscommunication and divisive rhetoric.

The Teach Different Method is a technique designed to harness the power of neural coupling in an increasingly divisive world to foster authentic, real-time conversations. Here’s how it does it:

Setting the Stage with a Profound Quote:

"Brevity is the soul of wit.”

By introducing a thought-provoking quote from a person outside the room, the quote paves the way for open, non-judgmental dialogue, providing a safer, less contentious space.

Diving into Claims and Counterclaims

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

As participants explore the quote’s truth, they share their viewpoints, leading to a dynamic conversation. This process of presenting claims and counterclaims not only promotes critical thinking but also sets the stage for deeper connections.

Telling Stories: The Heart of Connection

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."

The Teach Different Method emphasizes the sharing of personal experiences to illustrate positions. Storytelling ignites neural coupling. It’s through these shared narratives that participants connect on a profound level, activating memories, learning, and forming deep emotional bonds.

Creating a Safe Harbor

"Safety doesn’t happen by accident."

While neural coupling thrives in genuine conversations, safety is paramount. The Teach Different Method ensures participants feel secure, allowing even sensitive topics to be discussed with care and understanding.

Establishing Routines

"The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine."

With the Teach Different Method, life-changing dialogues aren’t one-off experiences; they become a cherished routine. This regular engagement further reinforces the power and benefits of conversations.

Neural coupling illuminates the beauty of human interaction and the magic of genuine conversations. The Teach Different Method provides the tools and framework to navigate and harness this connection.

The Conversation Project has trained over 2,600 educators and impacted over 40,000 students across five continents.