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New Higher Ed "Community of Practice" Created on Democratic Dialogue

The American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) just created four new web-based COPs (Communities of Practice) — on assessment, cognitive development, electronic portfolios, and democratic dialogue. The Society for Values in Higher Education (SVHE) is facilitating the COP on democratic dialogue, and they are inviting academics who are studying and experimenting with various models of discourse (study circles, National Issues Forums, intergroup dialogue, and others) to participate. Newcomers to the field are welcome! The group will convene a few times a year (optional) and exchange resources, ideas, and announcements via the web site.

Joining is easy, free, and membership in AAHE or SVHE is not required. There is no discussion list, although you might from time to time receive an email regarding an on-line discussion or gathering (and maybe a request for help).

To join, go to http://webcenter.aahe.org/chef/portal and press the button for creating a new account. You will be given an access name and a password, and then you can explore the site all you want. You can post articles, announcements, and start conversations on your own. If you have any problems, contact Nancy Thomas, Director of the Democracy Project of the Society for Values in Higher Education (860-657-9907 or nancy.thomas@uconn.edu.

Please note that the Democratic Dialogue COP has two specific activities planned at AAHE’s 2004 National Learning to Change Conference in San Diego, California (April 1-4): a preconference workshop (David Schoem and Nancy Thomas are facilitating a session on leadership and deliberative dialogue) AND two COP meetings. The goals of the meetings will be to get to know each other and brainstorm ways to turn this experiment into a successful community of practice.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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