My response to Samuelsson’s (2016) recent essay offers a different paradigm with which to think about education, deliberative discussion and democracy. I call this paradigm the critique of deliberative discussion. Following Ruitenberg’s application of Mouffe’s critiques of deliberative democracy to education, the critique of deliberative discussion focuses on what Jameson called the “political unconscious” of deliberative discussions like those presented by Samuelsson. There is literature that critique traditionally moderate-liberal notions of deliberative discussion, which Samuelsson defines his typology: reason, willingness to listen, and consensus. While others, like Ruitenberg, have developed this critique of deliberative-democratic citizenship education, the critique of deliberative discussion takes a left-of-liberal view of each of Samuelsson’s requirements for deliberative discussion listed above and describes practical-pedagogical techniques, which teachers and facilitators can use to practice critical discussions. This response’s contribution to the debate is therefore not only to critique deliberative discussion but also—following Samuelsson—to offer techniques that translate the critique into classroom practice.
Response to Article
Martin Samuelsson, Education for Deliberative Democracy: A Typology of Classroom Discussions
Backer, D. I.
The Critique of Deliberative Discussion. A Response to “Education for Deliberative Democracy: A Typology of Classroom Discussions".
Democracy and Education,
(1), Article 9.
Available at: https://democracyeducationjournal.org/home/vol25/iss1/9