Democracy, Deliberation, and Education by Robert AsenDemocracy, Deliberation, and Education by Robert Asen

Democracy, Deliberation, and Education

byRobert Asen

Paperback | July 28, 2015

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The local school board is one of America’s enduring venues of lay democracy at work. In Democracy, Deliberation, and Education, Robert Asen takes the pulse of this democratic exemplar through an in-depth study of three local school boards in Wisconsin. In so doing, Asen identifies the broader democratic ideal in the most parochial of American settings.

Conducted over two years across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines, Asen’s research reveals as much about the possibilities and pitfalls of local democracy as it does about educational policy. From issues as old as racial integration and as contemporary as the recognition of the Gay-Straight Alliance in high schools, Democracy, Deliberation, and Education illustrates how ordinary folks build and sustain their vision for a community and its future through consequential public decision making.

For all the research on school boards conducted in recent years, no other project so directly addresses school boards as deliberative policymaking bodies. Democracy, Deliberation, and Education draws from 250 school-board meetings and 31 interviews with board members and administrators to offer insight into participants’ varied understandings of their roles in the complex mechanism of governance.

Robert Asen is Professor of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.Robert Asen is Professor of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Title:Democracy, Deliberation, and EducationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:July 28, 2015Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271067098

ISBN - 13:9780271067094

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Table of Contents



Introduction: Discovering Local Deliberation and Policymaking

1 Networked Publics, Networked Policies

2 Ideology, Counterpublicity, and the Gay-Straight Alliance

3 Scarcity, District Finances, and Difficult Decisions

4 Expertise, Integration, and the Problem of Judgment

5 Trust, Relationships, and Deliberation Conclusion: Reconnecting Democracy and Education




Editorial Reviews

“As a theoretical and practical work, Asen’s book should be required reading for educational policy-makers at the local and national level. It would also be of interest to citizens who wish to understand how market forces affect decision-making in public education and how local democratic practices might counter those forces.”

—Stacie Molnar-Main, Journal of Public Deliberation