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Curricular Development Statement

Education teaches us that knowledge and communication are indivisible. Whether in the classroom or the public sphere, knowledge is always articulated and often contested. It is also circulated, mediated, interpreted, and negotiated for better or worse. Likewise, the pursuit of knowledge demands robust and responsible discursive practices to ensure its vitality. In this vein, the Program for Public Discourse (PPD) remains dedicated to empowering students and faculty with deliberative techniques aimed to produce ever more sophisticated, nuanced and defensible positions in their respective fields and across the public realm.
The PPD recognizes that specialized fields of knowledge exist, but it maintains that all knowledge can be refined through rigorous and informed deliberation. To that extent, the PPD is available for faculty consultations, in which experts in rhetoric and public discourse meet personally with faculty to assist them in developing deliberative pedagogies grounded in scholarly research and tailored to meet their specific classroom needs. Second, the PPD offers classroom workshops, in which communication experts teach students how to articulate their positions effectively, engage opposing views responsibly, consume information critically, and, above all, transform their discursive landscapes creatively.
The PPD is born out of the Carolina mission to “improve society and to solve the world’s greatest problems.” One of the great challenges we face today is an apparent inability or unwillingness to deliberate productively on issues of dire consequence. In fact, some of our most pressing issues—public health, racial equality, and climate change—are profoundly impeded by inept deliberation. In that regard, the PPD maintains a notion of rhetorical citizenship—the belief that deliberation serves as a fundamental expression of civic action in democratic society, and likewise deserves our scholarly attention.
Below are some of the PPD resources currently available:

Faculty Consultation Topics

  • 1. Curricular development
  • 2. Facilitating class dialogue
  • 3. Facilitating class debate
  • 4. Evaluating oral presentations

Classroom Workshop Topics

  • 1. Setting ground rules for class discussion
  • 2. Facilitating dialogue
  • 3. Constructing arguments
  • 4. Audience analysis
  • 5. Approaches to listening
  • 6. Fostering discourse for diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • 7. Tailoring technical content for diverse audiences and situations
  • 8. Introductions and conclusions
  • 9. Delivery and performance
  • We are also happy to craft original workshops around your specific needs and interests!
Take part in our work by scheduling a faculty consultation or classroom workshop today. To learn more about PPD curricular resourses, please contact Kevin Marinelli, Executive Director of the Program for Public Discourse at