In “Deliberating Public Policy Issues with Adolescents,” the authors described what they determine to be an unsuccessful attempt at deliberative pedagogy on the topic of immigration in three high school classrooms that differed demographically. Specifically, the authors observed that students failed to engage with evidence, stuck with their initial viewpoints, and only listened politely to those with different views, rather than interacting across differences to reach consensus. While student positionality, as the authors suggest, is important to take into account, there may be ways to reorient deliberations on “wicked problems” such as immigration, which are by their nature prone to polarization, to increase student engagement and learning. By questioning what counts as evidence; reframing the problem of immigration to a specific and more nuanced question relating to the food system; and scaffolding student experiences to provide appropriate historical and social context, the activity may offer more engaged learning outcomes that enable students to cultivate what Swartz and McGuffey (2018) referred to as “moral imagination.”

Response to Article

Margaret S. Crocco, Avner Segall, Anne-Lise S. Halvorsen, and Rebecca J. Jacobsen, Deliberating Public Policy Issues with Adolescents: Classroom Dynamics and Sociocultural Considerations