Teaching about deliberative politics: Case studies of classroom–community learning projects in four nations
Romano, Angela R. (2015) Teaching about deliberative politics: Case studies of classroom–community learning projects in four nations. Asia Pacific Media Educator, 25(2), pp. 208-221.
Theories of deliberative politics position grass-roots community members as more than spectators of politics, and instead recognize their capacity for political engagement by discussing and evaluating options in order to make decisions about issues affecting community life. The processes and products of journalism can assist deliberative politics by providing community members with information resources that are vital for understanding the root causes of problems, weighing up competing claims, forming networks around shared concerns, reaching decisions and undertaking action. This article presents the findings of case studies of four community–classroom projects--one each from Australia, New Zealand, the United States and South Africa--that develop the capacity of journalism students to be effective contributors to deliberative politics. The research points to the importance of learning activities that prepare students to work in diverse communities, map significant community places and structures, identify leaders and stakeholders, engage in respectful dialogue about problems and perspectives, and appreciate community frames and values.
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