Title

Tools of deliberation: Exploring the complexity of learning to lead elementary civics discussions

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2005

Publication Title

Theory & Research in Social Education

Department

Education

Abstract

Deliberative discussions are grounded in particular conceptions of democracy and are intensely difficult to learn to lead. This study uses a sociocultural lens to examine the cases of two elementary school teachers as they worked to foster deliberation in their classrooms. Speech code theory is used to uncover conceptual tools the teachers used as they appropriated the practical tools of deliberation. The practical tools of deliberation seemed to magnify existing (and sometimes conflicting) conceptual tools rather than facilitate the creation of new ones. The study suggests that learning to lead deliberative discussions requires continual attention to both the theory and the form of deliberation. Teachers might productively observe their own developing understanding of deliberation by examining how their students appropriate the practical tools of deliberation.

Volume

33

Issue

1

pp.

103-119

ISSN

0093-3104