The purpose of this exploratory study was to identify the analytic frames children (ages 9 to 11) employed as they worked together to make sense of an ill-structured problem, what those same children did when their frames collided in the context of deliberative dialogue, and what they learned from the process of negotiation. Data included pre- and post-dialogue interviews with individual children as well as videotapes of the five dialogue sessions. Analysis suggests that children invoked six frames: fairness, common good, safety, kindness, tradition and self-interest. Of these, fairness and common good were super-ordinate frames, which resonated with peers and facilitated the building of consensus. Groups in which children demonstrated greater willingness to engage others’ ideas made the most gains in their ability to employ multiple frames from pre- to post-task interviews. Findings suggest a need for explicit instruction about the sociocultural contexts delimiting individuals’ framing of complex problems. Such instruction has the potential to grow students’ civic capabilities as critical consumers of public discourse who can listen across difference and participate productively in shared decision making.
Response to this Article
Kathy Bickmore, Listening to Children in Dialogue
Stephanie Serriere, The Slow Work of Democracy: Resisting Reductionist Views of Women and Children
"State Your Defense!": Children Negotiate Analytic Frames in the Context of Deliberative Dialogue.
Democracy and Education,
(2), Article 3.
Available at: https://democracyeducationjournal.org/home/vol25/iss2/3