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Dialogue and democracy in plurality

CHEF Lunch Talk by Alex Young, PhD fellow, Centre for Teaching Development and Digital Media, Aarhus University.

08.02.2019 | Søren Smedegaard Bengtsen

Dato ons 20 feb
Tid 12:00 13:00
Sted CUDiM, building 1483, room 556. Video-link to DPU, Campus Emdrup, room D118

The presentation examines the intertwined nature of dialogue and democracy primarily through the writings of Hannah Arendt. Democracy is not merely a form of governance. It is a form of life. Democracy is thus understood as an inherently dialogic way of life that relates individuals to each other in a public sphere of plurality. In principle it relates individuals on the basis of equality (in plurality) whereby it creates a common space for action. An important part of this common space is education where the reflection on our own actions and the actions of others help to overcome the socio-economic, cultural and territorial boundaries that keeps people from realizing the full extent of their actions. Both democracy and dialogue share the same prerequisite in plurality. Without plurality there is no democracy and dialogue gives way to monologic discourse. To sustain and foster democracy as a polity education must be dialogic which in turn poses at least two dimensions of tension within education: 1) the exclusiveness and relative decoupling of education to society can pose a severe problem in terms of representation and lack of plurality and 2) the conception and status of truth and fact within education needs to be rethought in terms of deepening the understanding of the production of knowledge.

About the speaker
Alex Young Pedersen is a PhD fellow at the Centre for Teaching Development and Digital Media, Aarhus University and a senior upper secondary teacher at Aarhus Gymnasium, AARHUS TECH. His research focuses on educational theory and design. Recent publications include ‘Data Literacy as a Compound Competence’ (2019) and ‘Patterns of Inclusion: Fostering Digital Citizenship through Hybrid Education’ (2018)