Teaching Inclusion and Discourse: A Classroom Demonstration from Nepal

Authors

  • Helen Morrow Wichita State University
  • Laura A. Lowe Wichita State University

Keywords:

Civic discourse, pedagogy, inclusion, ideal speech situation, deliberative justice

Abstract

While a cornerstone of any democracy, efficacious civic discourse and the ability to come to
reasonable compromise seem to occur rarely today. This paper suggests that higher education may be
a place to teach such skills, describes a two-fold approach of lecture and class exercise, and
reports on student results from a case example. Lecture on concepts based on Habermas’ lifeworld
and ideal speech situation, with an emphasis on the relationship of these two terms to that of
deliberative justice, was provided to graduate students in Nepal before engaging them in a class
exercise deliberating about a social issue relevant to the local context. Both quantitative and
qualitative results indicated that students understanding of the material significantly improved
through the method of presentation. This pedagogy
may be one way to increase civic discourse and engagement in society.

Author Biographies

Helen Morrow, Wichita State University

Dr. Morrow is an Associate Professor of Social Work in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, College of Arts and Sciences, Texas Tech University, in Lubbock, Texas. She is the MSW Director. Dr. Morrow received her MSSW from the University of Texas at Arlington and her PhD in political science from Texas Tech University. Her recent courses have included: Social Policy & Social Welfare Legislation; Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Macro; and Social Work Profession and Social Welfare Policy. Her primary research interests are the pedagogy of decision-making in public policy, health care, and public health.

Laura A. Lowe, Wichita State University

Dr. Lowe is an Associate Professor of Social Work in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, College of Arts and Sciences, Texas Tech University, in Lubbock, Texas. She received both her MSW and PhD in Social Work from the University of Georgia. Her current research interest include professional civic-mindedness and social work education.

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Published

2016-10-24

Issue

Section

Articles