Narratives for a Better Future
Edited by Daniel Ericsson and Monika Kostera
Chapter 12: The hope of discomfort: Using democratic citizenship education for transformative learning
Current research in democratic citizenship education (DCE) acknowledges the need to move from a cognitive to a more experiential learning process. This includes the affective component of learning, which brings with it an element of discomfort, especially in navigating the tension between the individual and the group, a necessary tension in any democracy. Transformative learning can help to theorize this process, by offering a framework in which a learning experience is triggered by the discomfort of a disorienting dilemma. This chapter focuses on using this discomfort as our learning and transforming experience, through a DCE method called Betzavta. Examples from uncomfortable moments in Betzavta training are presented in order to show how these can be used to shift participants into a more introspective self-reflection. Just as we can use discomfort in the classroom, this may also be the hope we are looking for in transforming our collective society.
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