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The Enduring Effects of NIF on High School Students (NIF Report)

This 1999 report by John Doble and Iara Peng of Doble Research Associates examined the inclusion and effectiveness of NIF material in high school classrooms. See more details on the NIF website.

Four high school teachers who extensively use NIF in their classes partnered with Doble Research on this project. The teachers reviewed the research protocol and materials, described at length how they use NIF in their classrooms, recruited students to participate in the focus groups, made all arrangements for each session, acted as participant-observers at the sessions, joined in the discussion at crucial points, then were interviewed twice after the sessions.  The research objective of this project was to identify the enduring effects on high school students of learning about, and using, NIF.

Reflections on the Effects of Using NIF:

Students benefit from trying to find common ground. NIF teaches kids to appreciate the differences that they all have and to deal with them. NIF helps equip kids to solve problems in the future.

Students began to read newspapers and talk about issues – habits they didn’t have before [NIF].

The students really enjoyed NIF. They realize they can participate in a community forum, that their opinion is important, and that they might make a difference.

One student was relatively new to the school, and the forum was the first time he spoke up. . . . The students recognized and encouraged the strengths and abilities of each other.

The National Issues Forums (NIF) network includes civic, educational, and other organizations, and individuals, whose common interest is to promote public deliberation in America. NIF issue guides introduce participants to several choices or approaches to consider. Rather than conforming to any single public proposal, each choice reflects widely held concerns and principles. Panels of experts review manuscripts to make sure the choices are presented accurately and fairly. Look through all the NIF issue guides and their corresponding moderator guides, DVDs, and other resources at www.nifi.org/issue_books.

Resource Link: www.nifi.org/reports/detail.aspx?catID=19&itemID=353

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