UPCOMING: FACILITATION OF DELIBERATION IN THE CLASSROOM: THE INTERPLAY OF TECHNIQUE AND DESIGN TO MAKE SPACE FOR DEMOCRACY

ABSTRACT


Widespread global interest and adoption of deliberative democracy approaches to reinvigorate citizenship and policy making in an era of democratic crisis/decline has been mirrored by increasing interest in deliberation in schools, both as an approach to pedagogy and student empowerment, and as a training ground for deliberative citizenship. In school deliberation, as in other settings, a key and sometimes neglected element of high-quality deliberation is facilitation. Facilitation can help to establish and maintain deliberative norms, assist participants to deliberate productively and enable collective goals. By participating in facilitated deliberation, students can develop awareness, skills and voice that empower them to engage with democracy, in the school and beyond. This article draws on our experience as scholar/practitioners running a Deliberation in Schools program in Australia to explore challenges and strategies for deliberative facilitation. The challenges we discuss are power, inequality, diversity of expression and knowledge, and disagreement and these are discussed in the general context of inclusiveness. We highlight two facets of deliberative facilitation – technique and design – which are important for dealing with these challenges and increasing inclusion in school deliberation and in democratic deliberation more generally.


BIO

Wendy Russel, Kei Nishiyama, and Pierrick Chalaye share an interest in deliberative education and have a range of expertise in this area: Wendy as a deliberation practitioner in schools, Kei as a deliberation practitioner and facilitator, and Pierrick as a former high school teacher. They worked together on the Deliberation in Schools project in the Australian Capital Territory, on which this seminar is based.

Wendy is a research fellow in the School of Engineering, Australian National University, an associate of the Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, ANU and an associate of the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, University of Canberra. She is an engagement practitioner and Director of Double Arrow Consulting, a business specialising in deliberative engagement. 

Wendy identifies as a transdisciplinary pracademic and lacks respect for boundaries.


Kei is an assistant professor of policy studies at Doshisha University, Japan. Kei has a PhD from the University of Canberra, Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance. Kei studies children, education and democracy from a deliberative point of view.


Pierrick is a research fellow in the School of Engineering, Australian National University. He has a PhD in comparative environmental politics/policy from the University of Canberra, Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance. His research interests are energy and environmental politics/policy, deliberative democratic theory and qualitative research methods.