Fall 2011

This graduate seminar is aimed at enhancing skills and learning new methods for facilitating community participation in a way that brings out the wisdom of the group. Designed for students whose professional work will involve the public, the course is an inquiry into a new cultural story about democracy—one that cultivates both individual and collective wisdom about the emerging future. Students explore this question through dialogue, research, and community engagement. Students may choose to carry out an applied project in civic engagement in Austin, or do a research paper.

Topics include:

  • Understanding civic engagement: Buber, Bohm, Barber, and the new science
  • The transformational power of dialogue and civic engagement
  • Process leaders and the role of the engaged civic professional
  • Modalities for engaging communities in dialogue and deliberation
  • Case studies of civic engagement in different cultural settings
  • Co-intelligence and the art of thinking and acting together
  • Presencing: the art of sensing the emerging future

Students can expect to learn and apply dialogue modalities in the classroom conversation itself, and engage in facilitating a community dialogue in Austin.

Students can expect to develop their own line of inquiry that will culminate in an applied project or research paper on some aspect of civic engagement.

Prerequisites: Open to all graduate students. CRP 381 Participatory Planning Methods is recommended as preparation for this course, but is not required.

Student evaluation:

  • 15% Inquiry. Compose an integrative question that arises for you from the readings each week (one page).
  • 15% Participation. Participate in classroom exercises and dialogues, honing your dialogue skills as you go.
  • 15% Community dialogue experiential learning. Participate in, or volunteer to facilitate or assist in, a community dialogue event or process. 3-4pp. write-up.
  • 15% Dialogue and Deliberation tool write-up. 5 pp.
  • 40% Research paper or creative project.