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Finding Common Ground Teach-Out


Our world is evolving quickly. Technology is changing what we can learn about one another, what we can say to one another, and what we might be tempted to believe about one another. These changes are causing seismic shifts in our culture, in our economy, and in our politics. In a society where people have different experiences and diverse ideologies, achieving critical social goals requires listening to - and sincerely attempting to learn from - people whose views may be different than our own. These interactions can reveal new ways to identify shared values and show us how we can work together to make real progress on problems of common interest.

This Teach-Out is about how to overcome divisiveness, get beyond division, and work together. To that end, we present the Common Ground Framework for moving beyond partisanship and getting past polarization. Join the conversation and learn how to find common ground where it exists and how to build common ground where it is needed.

The Teach-Out will address the following questions:
Is society more or less polarized than how the media presents it?
How can I find common ground where it exists or build common ground where it does not exist?
How can I learn to listen and learn from those who may have different ideological identities than myself?
How can I be more persuasive?
Can I work more effectively with diverse groups?

A Teach-Out is:

-an event – it takes place over a fixed, short period of time

-an opportunity – it is open for free participation to everyone around the world

-a community – it will be joined by a large number of diverse individuals

-a conversation – an opportunity to give and take ideas and information from people

The University of Michigan Teach-Out Series provides just-in-time community learning events for participants around the world to come together in conversation with the U-M campus community, including faculty experts. The U-M Teach-Out Series is part of our deep commitment to engage the public in exploring and understanding the problems, events, and phenomena most important to society.

Teach-Outs are short learning experiences, each focused on a specific current issue. Attendees will come together over a few days not only to learn about a subject or event but also to gain skills. Teach-Outs are open to the world and are designed to bring together individuals with wide-ranging perspectives in respectful and deep conversation. These events are an opportunity for diverse learners and a multitude of experts to come together to ask questions of one another and explore new solutions to the pressing concerns of our global community. Come, join the conversation!

Find new opportunities at




4 weeks



U-M Credit Eligible



  • Arthur Lupia

    Gerald R. Ford Distinguished University Professor of Political Science

    Department of Political Science