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Engaging Abstract Topics

Over the last year or so, I have had numerous conversations with faculty using the IF method in the classroom and lamenting that, too often, it is difficult to get their students to go deeper and think harder when engaging more abstract topics.  On the concrete stuff, students can talk for hours.  But, they have a much harder time with the more abstract explorations.  What tricks, techniques, and approaches have you tried or would you try, given another opportunity, by way of trying to get students to engage the grey zone– particularly in discussions of values, morals, aesthetics, etc.?