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NIFI Demonstrates Potential of Deliberation in the Classroom

We want to encourage our network to check out the fascinating video that the National Issues Forums Institute – an NCDD organizational member – made recently to showcase how their signature deliberative forums can be amazing NIF logolearning exercises in everyday classrooms.

Here’s what NIF said in their recent blog post about the video:

This 19-minute YouTube video features students in Wisconsin and Alabama as they participate in deliberative forums using materials from the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI). In Birmingham, Alabama, teacher, Zakiya Jenkins, with assistance from Peggy Sparks, of Sparks Consulting, reflects on eighth-grade student deliberations about Youth and Violence. And in Wausau, Wisconsin, teachers Sarah Schneck, Shannon Young, and Kevin Krieg, discuss student deliberations about America’s Role in the World. The student forums in Wausau were hosted by John Greenwood of the Wisconsin Institute for Policy and Service.

The video really shows the potential of applying deliberation as a learning tool. It was quite impressive to see high schools students learning real skills and deep lessons from running their own deliberations – guiding their peers through the framing of a problem, exploring options and their corresponding trade offs, and finding common ground as a group that they can live with.

Just imagine how different our world and our politics might be if every young person had to learn how to deliberate on controversial issues before they graduated high school…

You can watch the inspiring video below:

You can find the original version of this NIFI blog post at www.nifi.org/en/groups/watch-video-deliberation-classroom.

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Roshan Bliss
An inclusiveness trainer and group process facilitator, Roshan Bliss serves as NCDD's Youth Engagement Coordinator and Blog Curator. Combining his belief that decisions are better when everyone is involved with his passion for empowering young people, his work focuses on increasing the involvement of youth and students in public conversations.

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