14 SES 17, Unfolding Dialogical Spaces: Place-based learning on contested territories with (young) adults under the aim of social sustainability
The paper addresses a method for increasing citizen participation and learning processes: Deliberative Walks (DW), created by Ehrström & Raisio (see for example Ehrström & Raisio 2014, Raisio & Ehrström 2017). Deliberative Walks builds on the potential of joining two participatory models, one talk-centric (Citizens Jury) and the other more observation-oriented (Development Walk). According to Szczepanski (2013), where education takes place is a vital pedagogical and didactic question, which also emphasizes the meaning of place in the learning process. Ideally, Deliberative Walks could also make learning processes more equal, as individuals who have challenges in learning by listening to experts or reading information packages could also learn by seeing, observing and feeling (Raisio & Ehrström 2017). This paper discusses experiences from a Studentlab Deliberative Walks, a democratic innovation introduced and pilot-tested in Finnish higher education, bringing together international and domestic students from different subjects to a mini-public that deliberates on current planning issues and potentially participates in an “IRL” planning debate. First results are very promising (Ehrström forthcoming, Lindell & Ehrström 2018). Citizen Jurys have earlier been organized as student experiments. Tammi, Raisio & Ollila (2014), for example, studied student experiences and concluded that Citizen Jurys are a notable alternative for colleges to increase knowledge and influence interest in democratic ways of operating. Studentlab Deliberative Walks, however, open a more holistic learning process, combining theoretical and place-based learning. A major democratic challenge for education is to increase student knowledge of and interest in participatory methods and active citizenship, and to enhance student interest in participation (in society). According to questionnaires before and after the course, Studentlab Deliberative Walks increased participants’ interest to participate as well as knowledge of participatory methods and combinations of learning methods. Interaction between international and domestic students is also increased. Thus, Studentlab DW is considered an innovative model for learning to participate.
Ehrström, P. (forthcoming). Planning with People. In F. Finnegan & B. Gunnell (Eds.), Doing Critical and Creative Research in Adult Education. Rotterdam, Sense. Ehrström, P., & Raisio, H. (2014). Deliberative Walks – A New Participatory Method for Urban Planning. Abstract. Deliberatiivisen Demokratian Instituutti, R&D Day 2014, (www.deliberaatio.org). Lindell, M., & Ehrström, P. (2018). Deliberative Walks – civic participation in local-level planning processes. Full conference paper. Presented at the Participatory Spaces in Perspective, International Conference of the Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association. Raisio, H., & Ehrström, P. (2017). Taking Deliberation to the Streets: Reflections on Deliberative Walks. Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration, 21:4, 27-52. Szczepanski, A. (2013). Platsens betydelse för lärande och undervisning – Ett utomhuspedagogiskt perspektiv [The importance of place for learning and teaching - An outdoor educational perspective]. NorDiNa 9:1, 3–17. Tammi, T., Raisio, H., & Ollila, S. (2014). Oppilaitokset ja deliberatiivisen demokratian reunaehdot: Opiskelijoiden kokemuksia kolmesta kansalaisraadista, [Preconditions for colleges and deliberative democracy: Student experiences from three Citizens Juries], Suomen kasvatustieteellinen aikakauskirja, 45:3, 228-241.
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