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Democracy and ExpertiseReorienting Policy Inquiry$
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Frank Fischer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199282838

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282838.001.0001

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Transformative Learning Through Deliberation: Social Assumptions and the Tacit Dimension *

Transformative Learning Through Deliberation: Social Assumptions and the Tacit Dimension *

Chapter:
(p.214) 8 Transformative Learning Through Deliberation: Social Assumptions and the Tacit Dimension*
Source:
Democracy and Expertise
Author(s):

Frank Fischer (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282838.003.0009

This chapter takes up an essential contention of deliberative democracy, namely the idea that citizens can improve their communicative competencies in ways that lead to self-transformative learning. It explores this argument by examining the nature of critical social learning, in particular the way it turns on underlying assumptions and tacit understandings. Toward this end, the text employs theoretical contributions from the field of adult education, especially work on ‘transformational learning’ pioneered by theorists such as Freire and Mezirow. In the process, it speaks to the role of differences in deliberative theory — especially those related to culture, gender, class, or race — and their crucial function in the dialectical processes of argumentation. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implications of tacit knowledge for expert practices and the facilitation of democratic dialogue.

Keywords:   transformative learning, deliberative theory, citizen competencies, tacit knowledge, Michael Polanyi, professional education, policy inquiry, Donald Schoen, postmodernism, folk pedagogy

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