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Deliberation in schools

Pierrick Chalaye, University of Canberra / Kei Nishiyama, University of Canberra / Wendy Russell, Double Arrow Consulting

Tue 2 April 2019

11:00am - 12:00pm

The Dryzek Room, Building 22, University of Canberra


In 2018, we conducted a pilot Deliberation in Schools project in two ACT public schools (Ainslie Primary School year 5 and Hawker College year 11), partially funded by the International Association for Public Participation Australasia. Working with teachers and school principals, we facilitated a series of deliberative sessions with students. Through the program, we investigated how students deliberate, understand and practice democracy, and what sorts of curriculum design are needed to cultivate democratic competencies.

In this presentation, we will show some tentative findings of our pilot, with a specific focus on the role of facilitator in classroom deliberation. While the role of facilitator in deliberative mini-publics has gradually received attention from scholars and practitioners alike, little is known about how to facilitate deliberation in the classroom. In this presentation, we will show how our pilot partially responds to two key questions: "How can a facilitator ensure the epistemic and inclusive quality of deliberation in the classroom?" "How can this deliberative work address power imbalances between facilitators/teachers and students?"

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