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Democratic Deliberations and Self-Interest

I am currently taking a special topics course on Citizenship Learning, Participatory Democracy, and Social Change.  Even before starting the course, I knew I would be able to link much of what is studied in the class to things I have learned through my involvement...

Scheduling a Student Discussion using Doodle

As I was digging through old posts, I would like to add my thoughts to the topic “setting up student discussions” 18 months ago. I am particularly going to recommend the website www.doodle.com for scheduling. Scheduling an event and selecting a topic is very time...

Discussion as Improv: Serve the Others

New participants in an Interactivity Foundation discussion project often wonder how to act when taking part in the discussion. Often when people hear that we’ll be engaged in thoughtful civic discussion, they think of this in terms of “debate” or “argument.” With...

Facilitating for Democratic Discussion

IF’s mission is to “promote and enhance democratic discussion.”  Not just any discussion, but democratic discussion.  IF’s facilitators have a significant role to play in achieving this core aspect of IF’s mission—both before and during public discussions. Before...

Key Aspects of IF’s Public Discussions•

At least four interactive aspects are critical to useful public discussion of IF’s Citizens Discussion Reports. 1. Facilitation is critical in public discussions of IF Citizens Staff Work Reports.  There is nothing “magical” about IF facilitators.  They are,...

Stories of Unexpected Consequences

What consequences might flow from a given policy possibility? It’s impossible to say for sure, but exploring this question is an important part of the IF discussion process. It helps the participants in an IF project to envision the policy ideas they’ve generated...