Discussion is key to
learning.

In a screen-bound world, face-to-face conversation is hard.

But it’s important—and teachable.

We help schools teach it.

OUR CORE BELIEF

Discussion is a deeply human experience and uniquely human skill. Let’s get tactical about teaching it.

Our signature program, R.E.A.L.® Discussion, breaks the art of discussion into teachable, assessable, and transferable skills for a generation of students who would rather text than talk.

Today’s kids struggle with the basics: listening deeply, engaging different viewpoints, expressing themselves, reading non-verbal cues. These are foundational skills for academics – as well as belonging, wellbeing, and civil discourse! This deficit is not “just a covid thing.” It’s a trend researchers have documented for a decade: a predictable opportunity cost of time spent on screen. It’s not about to get better.

Today’s teachers are also under pressure: in a polarized world, how can educators ensure balanced perspectives in the classroom? And in an AI era, how can educators teach and assess human skills that robots can’t replace? Our tools equip teachers to foster civility, assess live learning, and emphasize metacognitive process in a ChatGPT world.

At R.E.A.L.®, we design custom strategies for schools to teach, assess, and celebrate discussion skills across campus. We call this building Conversation Culture. It looks different at different schools, so the first step is, fittingly, a conversation!

Together, we can: 

  • Align Conversation Culture to your school’s mission and strategic priorities;
  • Engage Humanities faculty as experts in Conversation Culture : integrate R.E.A.L.® Discussion into existing curriculum in order to build and monitor students’ communication skills, belonging, and purpose;
  • Train the full faculty in research behind Gen-Z’s communication crisis and tactics for transferring R.E.A.L.® skills to other disciplines, advisory, and extracurriculars;
  • Measure mission-aligned impact along the way, using tools like the R.E.A.L.® Student Survey and R.E.A.L.® Teacher Dashboard, to share the Conversation Culture story with stakeholders: parents, alumni, board members, and more. 

Training faculty in R.E.A.L.® as part of developing Conversation Culture across campus is one of the most compelling and actionable ways any school that aspires to deliver on its promise of inclusion and belonging can prepare our youth to communicate effectively – and respectfully – across differences.
Dr. Margarita Curtis
Former Head of School, Deerfield Academy (MA)
Partner, Strategic School Leadership
Build Your School’s
Conversation Culture Strategy Today

Case Studies

Real Schools, Real Impact

The R.E.A.L.® approach has been featured by:

Group of students with teacher

Our Story

It all started during second period. Yet another discussion fell flat – the same kids spoke up, sat back, eye-rolled, panicked – and Humanities teacher Liza Garonzik realized that the Gen-Z students in her class lacked the in-person communication skills they needed to talk and trust each other. 

Liza knew that discussion skills are critical for learning and life – and wanted her students to thrive even as they grew up in a screen-bound, cancel-culture world. So she spent a decade working with experts, teachers, and Gen-Z students to develop R.E.A.L.®: the first research-backed method for explicitly teaching and equitably assessing in-person discussion skills. 

Today, R.E.A.L.® has several programs for teaching discussion skills and ultimately building Conversation Culture, used by thousands of students, hundreds of teachers, and dozens of teams across diverse schools. The results speak for themselves.

Our Story

It all started during second period. Yet another discussion fell flat – the same kids spoke up, sat back, eye-rolled, panicked – and Humanities teacher Liza Garonzik realized that the Gen-Z students in her class lacked the in-person communication skills they needed to talk and trust each other. 

Group of students with teacher

Liza knew that discussion skills are critical for learning and life – and wanted her students to thrive even as they grew up in a screen-bound, cancel-culture world. So she spent a decade working with experts, teachers, and Gen-Z students to develop R.E.A.L.®: the first research-backed method for explicitly teaching and equitably assessing in-person discussion skills. 

Today, R.E.A.L.® has several programs for teaching discussion skills and ultimately building Conversation Culture, used by thousands of students, hundreds of teachers, and dozens of teams across diverse schools. The results speak for themselves. 

Our School Partners

PROGRAM PREVIEW

R.E.A.L.® is a method for breaking the deeply human art of great discussion into teachable, assessable, transferable skills for students who would rather text than talk.

R.E.A.L.® has programs for Gr. 2-10. It has been used by hundreds of teachers across independent schools.


98%

of teachers would recommend R.E.A.L.® to a colleague


96%

of students see R.E.A.L. skills as useful beyond the classroom


98%

of students report more confidence in speaking up in discussion


96%

of students listen more actively to their peers


94%

of students show a growth mindset towards discussion


5

The top five words teachers use to describe R.E.A.L. PD :
Practical, Innovative, Fun/Funny, Motivating, Helpful

Stories from R.E.A.L.® teachers

“Breaking the mystery of discussion into teachable, learnable skills”

Patrick, Middle School Humanities

“Democratizing the classroom in a beautiful way”

Pam, Upper School History

“Game-changer for communication and community in my class”

Linda, Upper School History

“I know my students – and they know each other – so much better”

Kay & Liz, Upper School Religion

Next steps

Ready to build Conversation Culture?