What is deliberative democracy?
Deliberative democracy is a term that signifies an approach to democracy that puts citizens at the center of the political process and that is more "voice-centered" than "vote-centered." In this conception of democracy, citizens play a more robust role from the local to the global levels in helping to set the public agenda and to decide about what will be the broad directions for public policy. They are expected to meet in public to discuss, debate and deliberate their reasons for the claims they make and to link their efforts and ideas with those of their elected and appointed representatives in public office. Deliberative democracy is animated by the idea that public deliberation and dialogue are essential for better and fairer solutions to public problems, a stronger sense of legitimacy for public processes and institutions, and greater social unity and solidarity in society, in general.

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What is deliberative dialogue?
Deliberative dialogue is a set of practices for communicating with others and addressing common problems and issues. These practices enable people to talk about difficult issues not only on the basis of knowledge, facts, and professional expertise, but also from the perspective of their deeper concerns, values and personal experience. These practices help participants speak not only as individuals, but as members of a community, not only as groups with competing interests, but also as a community with shared interests, concerns and goals.

Deliberative dialogues are structured conversations of varying lengths and formats with ground rules and a discussion guide that lays out a range of possible approaches to an issue-an issue book or an issue brief-that participants move through with the help of a trained moderator. The ground rules encourage participants to listen to each other, and to get beyond debating and other adversarial ways of communicating. Discussion guides or issue books/briefs frame the issue in a way that helps participants wrestle with choices and tradeoffs associated with making tough public policy decisions. Moderators encourage participants to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of various approaches to an issue that are laid out in the issue book or brief, and to reach for common ground in creating general directions for acting together. This is what is called doing "choice work". Deliberative dialogues are not debates, nor are they casual or superficial conversations. They involve thinking and reasoning together and working through conflicting possible choices with others in an effort to reach some common understandings and decisions about how to address and take action on an issue.

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Why use deliberative dialogue to address public issues?
When citizens engage in deliberative dialogue about an issue and when a community has a habit of asking its members to make choices, the directions that are chosen often are better and they have a legitimacy that simply doesn't exist otherwise. Citizens catch the bug of being engaged and of taking ownership of problems. They talk about what they can do, not what others ought to do.

Deliberative dialogue is a way of making a connection with others in your community that you don't usually interact with and to an issue that can often feel too big to influence or too impersonal to relate to directly. Participants in deliberative dialogue forums are able to see their personal stake in public issues because they are encouraged to draw on their own values, concerns and life experiences as well as on pertinent facts and technical information in addressing those problems. And because they are doing this in the company of others engaged in the same thing, they are able to make stronger connections to others, especially with those whom they might not otherwise associate.

Participants in these dialogues develop a public voice, and they are transformed by that experience. Someone who may seem intellectually unable or inarticulate will begin to show their thoughtfulness and develop their ability to speak with more facility about issues in public. The practice has a way of sensitizing people to the life experiences and interests of people that are significantly different from themselves. So, as they become more active and powerful participants in their communities, they also become more empathetic. They develop into stronger and more confident individuals while simultaneously becoming more connected to others, and often with people they have not been able to relate to before. When citizens develop these qualities and capacities, the conditions for significant social change are in place. People are enabled to act differently because they have learned to talk and listen to each other differently.

And often something new-some new understanding, some new insight or idea for acting differently to address a problem-gets created as a result, an idea that no one individual or group of individuals had in mind fully going into the dialogue. When that happens-as it almost always does to some degree-one realizes the truth of the idea that we are more together than we are alone.

The kind of action that follows is a rich array of varied and collaborative efforts that reinforce one another. They spring spontaneously and unpredictably from the connections and sense of interdependence that are forged by the practice of dialogue. Action will be imagined at many levels and from a variety of angles because deliberative dialogue allows for problems to be addressed in their full complexity and authentic thickness.

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What issues can be addressed using deliberative dialogue?
Deliberative dialogue can be used to deal with a wide variety of issues including education, social security, foreign policy, health care, and the challenges of biotechnology. The particular approach used by the NECCL has been developed and refined over the last 20 years by the Kettering Foundation of Dayton, Ohio and the many people who organize and moderate National Issues Forums (NIF) across the country. National Issues Forums are deliberative dialogues among adult citizens primarily on issues important in their communities and in the nation. Recent NIF forum booklets include:

  • Terrorism: What Should We Do Now?
  • Crime and Punishment: Is Justice Being Served?
  • Race and Ethnic Tensions: What Can We Do?
  • A Nice Place to Live: Building Communities and Fighting Sprawl
  • Money & Politics: Who Owns Democracy?
  • Violent Kids: Can We Change the Trend?
  • Public Schools: Are They Making the Grade?
  • Our Nation's Kids: Is Something Wrong?
  • Alcohol: Controlling the Toxic Spill
  • What Goes on the Internet?
  • The Boundaries of Free Speech
  • Environmental Protection: A Challenge Bigger Than All Outdoors
  • How Can We Be Fair: The Future of Affirmative Action
  • Mission Uncertain: Reassessing America's Global Role
  • Contested Values: Tug-of-War in the School Yard
  • Jobs: Preparing the Workforce for the Twenty-first Century
  • Welfare to Work: Who Should We Help and Why?
  • The Environment at Risk: Responding to Growing Dangers
  • Governing America: Our Choices, Our Challenge
  • The Health Care Cost Explosion
  • At Death's Door: What are the Choices?
  • Pocketbook Pressures: Who Benefits from Economic Growth?

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Some examples of locally framed issues include:

  • Improving Race and Ethnic Relations on Campus
  • Gender: What Difference Does It Make?
  • Sex: Making Public Policy for Private Passions
  • Time for Life: Balancing Work, Love and Leisure
  • A World in Common: Talking About What Matters in a Borderless World
  • Pathways to Prosperity: Choosing a Future for Your Community
  • Land Use: When City and Country Clash
  • Women's Health: What are the Problems, What Should We Do?
  •  Which Way Forward for Women?
  • Politics for the Twenty-first Century: What Should Be Done on Campus?
  • Preparing for the Future: What Kind of Education Do We Need After High School?

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 What is an issue book and an issue brief?
Deliberative dialogues often use a certain kind of discussion guide to help facilitate public deliberation-the making of choices together. Public issues and community problems often present us with a variety of choices for understanding and acting on a problem. We find that polarization is avoided and productive dialogue and deliberation are encouraged when issues are presented with more than two sides, which is the way citizens actually tend to relate to issues. Issue books or issue briefs frame an issue in terms of three and sometimes four approaches or choices. (Issue briefs are shorter, at-a-glance versions of the choices for deliberation.) Less than three seems to promote debate and more than four gets too unwieldy for group discussion.

These various approaches often conflict with each other and have tension between and within them mirroring the conflicts and tensions that are among and within the participants as well. The issue book or brief provides a brief overview of the problem and presents three or four "choices" or approaches one at a time. Each choice includes a general statement of the problem from the perspective of supporters of that choice, a few of the best arguments for the position, and a list of a few possible actions that could be taken and the likely tradeoffs associated with them. As participants deliberate on each of the very different and conflicting choices, they try to discover what they value most about each approach, what costs and consequences they think they can live with and what future actions they would more or less support together.

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How are issues framed for deliberation?
Framing issues and developing issue books or briefs is one thing we do to help along the process of deliberation. It is a difficult and time-consuming process that requires some training and experience, but it has many rewards. When we frame an issue well, we capture the most fundamental concerns that are behind the ways people see a problem. The goal is to make sure everyone can see themselves in the choices or approaches they're asked to consider. When this is accomplished it can encourage citizen participation. Framing an issue well-for public deliberation-requires "working through" the following steps, ideally with a group which represents the diverse views in a community: Identifying people's concerns, grouping like concerns and perspectives, bringing the problem into focus, recognizing the tensions, outlining the benefits and drawbacks of each approach, listing the actions and trade-offs, and testing the framework.

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What is the purpose of having issues framed in terms of choices for action?
Having the choices framed ahead of time by others helps participants in the deliberative dialogue forum get quickly into the meat of an issue and forces them to come to grips with the major tensions and trade-offs associated with it. The choices are not meant to be exhaustive and participants are encouraged to bring up ideas that they feel aren't included in the framework. But a well-developed issue framework should provide the building blocks for the group's work of co-creating a general sense of direction for where they want to go on an issue. The objective in a deliberative dialogue is not to take a vote at the end on which choice individuals prefer. Rather, the goal is to arrive at a better common understanding of the issue through a thorough examination of the major choices we have in relation to it. Ultimately, participants are trying to discover and create some sense of common ground among them upon which future action might be taken, creating their own approach which may involve parts of some or all of the choices in the framework of the issue book.

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What is common ground? How is it different from compromise or consensus?
Discovering and creating common ground for action is the goal of deliberative dialogue. It is often created out of a discovery of shared concerns and interests among participants, or at least a better understanding and acceptance of why people hold valuable the things they do. Common ground is more than a compromise, where parties agree to disagree and split the difference, and less than consensus, where the objective is to arrive at like-mindedness on an issue. Common ground, on the other hand, is that place (or those places) where participants can see how their goals are shareable, their values overlap and their interests intersect with those of others. It is the basis for win/win solutions to problems, where all parties in the dialogue have had their concerns and interests heard and accommodated to some degree in the decisions made.

Common ground for action describes the relationship we have when we must take action together, even when we do not fully agree about our convictions. When you think about it, much of our daily decision making is in the area between agreement and disagreement. We usually don't fully agree with or fully disagree with others. We don't often give up our convictions to other people. But we do find ways to work with others-sometimes even if we don't particularly like them. That is the reality that common ground for action attempts to address.

Deliberative dialogue is that form of talking that helps us to address differences of conviction. If we differ in conviction, we can't have consensus and we are very unlikely to compromise. What we do is find over-lapping self-interests that enable us to take action together. That behavior is common ground for action.

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Details

Why Franklin Pierce?
In an effort to continue to meet the rising demand for highly qualified teachers (HQT) as set forth in the No Child Left Behind legislation, Franklin Pierce is now offering a new Graduate Education Program with multiple tracks to include a Master of Education with Certification, a Master of Education only, and Certification-only in several areas of certification/concentration. (See programs below). The programs are designed for individuals who possess a baccalaureate degree. (Note: The degree does not have to be in education, but may be in a content area, computers, business, etc.).

The Graduate Teacher Education Program at Franklin Pierce is committed to small class sizes. Dedicated faculty and staff members are available to advise students by phone, email and in person.

The Cohort Format
The Graduate Teacher Education Programs at Franklin Pierce are delivered through a cohort format, in which participants may choose to work through the program with a group of peers. Sharing experiences, ideas, and knowledge within a multidisciplinary context greatly benefits cohort members. Cohort participants complete courses in a particular sequence. As your cohort proceeds through the course sequence, you will build on shared academic experiences, leading to a rewarding educational experience. You will graduate and/or become certified with a group of peers who become part of your professional network.

PROGRAMS
Franklin Pierce offers Graduate Teacher Education Programs with multiple tracks to include Certification-only, Master of Education with a specific concentration, and Master of Education with Certification in several areas of certification/concentration.

Program

Master of Education w/ Certification

Master of Education ONLY

Certification ONLY

Elementary (K-8)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Middle/Secondary English (5-12)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Middle/Secondary Social Studies (5-12)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Secondary Biology (7-12)

Yes

Yes

Yes

General Special Education with Learning Disabilities (LD) (K-12)

Yes

Yes

Yes

General Special Education with Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities (EBD) (K-12)

Yes

Yes

Yes

 


DELIVERY MODELS
All programs will follow the current Graduate Programs 12-week terms, with cohorts starting in the fall, spring, and summer. In addition, you may choose from the following types of delivery models:

Traditional Model

All classes held in a classroom setting

Offered in the fall and spring

Hybrid Model

Classes are half on-line and half in a classroom setting

NEW 2006 Summer/Weekend Intensive

100% On-line

Classes are held on-line with residency weekends

Beginning in March, 2007

Depending on the cohort and delivery model selected, students may choose to complete education coursework within 12-24 months. Students in the certification tracks will also be expected, upon completion of all coursework and other outstanding requirements, to do a student teaching/internship for 16 weeks. This is a full-time experience in an approved school or site and may occur either in the fall (September - December) or the spring (January - May) once all courses and other outstanding requirements are completed.

BEST PRACTICES
All phases of the M.Ed./Graduate Certification program are built around "Best Practices" research in an effort to foster an understanding of the implications of the No Child Left Behind Act and to help to meet the challenges set forth in the Act. Therefore, Best Practices including, but not limited to the following, will be threaded throughout the traditional and on-line programs: technology initiatives, accountability, state and national standards, research-based assessment practices, including alternative assessment, such as Portfolio and e-Portfolio, reflective practice, Action and Collaborative Action Research, Self-Determination Research, Multiple Intelligences Theory, Differentiated Learning, and the guiding principles of the relatively new strategic initiative "Understanding by Design."

APPLICATION INFORMATION
Students wishing to apply to any of the programs described may obtain an application package from the:

It is recommended that students apply to both the Degree and Certification programs at the same time. In most cases, acceptance into the Certification programs will be conditional, based upon outstanding content/general education coursework needed, successful completion of Praxis I/II or equivalent and undergraduate GPA, which should be 2.5 or higher for the Certification tracks and 2.8 or higher for the M.Ed. programs. A full acceptance will be granted once all of the requirements have been met.

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS
Entrance requirements for full admission to the M.Ed. Graduate Program

1. A Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college in any major field of study with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.8 on a 4.0 basis.

2. Applicants for admission are required to submit the following* prior to official acceptance into the M.Ed. and/or Graduate Teacher Certification Program:

  • Application
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • All Official College Transcripts (GPA 2.5 for Graduate Teacher Certification Program, 2.8 for Degree program)
  • Course Descriptions/Syllabi (for substitutions only)
  • Evidence of Life Experience (for substitutions only)
  • Technology Statement

• Campus Interview (schedule an appointment at home campus)

 

With approval, you may register for ED 501 and ED 505 before being officially accepted into the program. However, you must officially apply before the completion of these courses. We strongly encourage you to apply as soon as possible so that you may make informed decisions regarding your career path.

The Franklin Pierce University
Graduate Program does not require standardized admission tests such as the GRE.

*For additional information, please see the GPS Master Catalog


PRAXIS INFORMATION
For information on the PRAXIS exams, go to www.ets.org/praxis . Praxis I should be taken either prior to or immediately following admission to the program. It must be taken and passed by Oct. 15 for Spring Student Teaching and April 15 for Fall Student Teaching/Internship. Praxis II for Secondary or Elementary should be taken before Student Teaching, but may be taken during or after Student Teaching/Internship. Students cannot be recommended for certification without passing Praxis II however. There is also an E-Portfolio requirement, 75% of which must be completed prior to approval to Student Teach/Intern and 100% completion prior to Certification.

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE REQUIREMENTS
The State of New Hampshire has set the minimal Praxis scores for certification. When you register for the exams, you should request that your scores be sent to the New Hampshire State Department of Education (Code # 7660) and Franklin Pierce University
- Rindge (Code # 3395). For additional information about the State of New Hampshire Praxis and HQT requirements, go to www.ed.state.nh.us/certification/teacher.htm .