March 26, 2013
Freedom of speech is the foundation of a healthy democracy. For democracy to thrive, citizens must deliberate; they must express and exchange ideas among themselves and with their representatives in government. Deliberation skills:
- Ensure that conflicting views can be heard, understood, and valued
- Are critical to the ability to find solutions to important issues
- Require instruction and practice; deliberating civic issues is not natural behavior
Deliberating in a Democracy (DID) challenges students to tackle current civic issues through Structure Academic Controversy (SAC), a method to teach deliberation skills developed by the Johnson brothers at the University of Minnesota.
Minnesota teachers and students are developing deliberation skills through two new programs: Deliberating in a Democracy in the Americas and Deliberating in a Democracy Minnesota.
Minnesota and Mexico are partner sites in this cross-cultural program that promotes learning democratic principles and the skills of civic deliberation among a new generation in the United States and in Latin America.
Deliberating in a Democracy in the Americas is an extension of Deliberating in a Democracy in Eastern Europe. The program’s primary goal is to promote an international dialogue related to democratic principles as applied in their countries and to find solutions to important world issues.
This major initiative is conducted by the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago (CRFC), the Constitutional Rights Foundation in Los Angeles (CRF) and Street Law, Inc. with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Locally, Learning Law and Democracy Foundation is coordinating the effort with eight Minnesota teachers.
Through Deliberating in a Democracy Minnesota, students develop the ability to deliberate important issues confronting Minnesotans using DID materials focused on topics of special interest for Minnesota. Deliberating in a Democracy Minnesota is supported in part by a grant funded by the Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
This is democracy in action!
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Program Support Material
- Resources for teachers
- Deliberating in a Democracy Steps
- Deliberating in a Democracy Steps Video
- Video: Making Civics Real SAC on Racial Profiling with MN teacher JoEllen Ambrose
- Minnesota Issues materials for students
- Deliberating in a Democracy Judicial Elections
- Deliberating in a Democracy Raw Milk
- Deliberating in a Democracy Ethanol
- Deliberating in a Democracy Farm Subsidies