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Dialogue as Pedagogy: Deliberative Learning with Democracy Lab in High School and College Classes

This 10-page document was distributed during Jim Knauer and Paul Alexander’s workshop of the same name at the 2006 NCDD Conference in San Francisco. Deliberative dialogue can be used across the curriculum to integrate civic education without sacrificing disciplinary content or traditional learning objectives. The document not only outlines Democracy Lab (an online deliberation program for college students) and where it is headed, it also outlines existing research on dialogic pedagogy, describes William Perry’s Scheme of Intellectual and Ethical Development, and explores the relationship between deliberative dialogue and learning.

Here is the full description of Knauer and Alexander’s workshop:

If dialogue and deliberation are to lead to social transformation they must also become the basis for educational transformation. Drawing on three years of experience with Democracy Lab in high schools and colleges, presenters will share their experiences and explore a theory and practice of dialogic pedagogy. Dialogic strategies are used across the disciplines to improve the achievement of traditional teaching and learning objectives while also preparing students for active citizenship in a stronger democracy.  Democracy Lab provides pedagogically structured dialogue on public issues for instructor adoption as a course requirement.  Students participate in small asynchronous groups with others from several schools and from courses in various disciplines.  A 10-week NIF-style agenda includes instructional modules, research tasks, group reports and action possibilities.  Presenters will invite, share and discuss strategies for dialogic learning and the relation of dialogic learning to traditional objectives and to civic engagement.

James T Knauer, PhD is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Founder of Democracy Lab. Paul Alexander, PhD is Director, Institute on the Common Good, Regis University.

James T Knauer, PhD and Paul Alexander, PhD

Resource Link: www.ncdd.org/exchange/files/docs/Dialogic_Pedagogy_Handout.doc

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