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Reflective Discussion Circles: A Method for Promoting Civic Engagement

The abilities to listen reflectively and speak respectfully con- cerning another person’s opinion, as well as to think critically about that opinion and one’s own, are essential to a functioning democracy. The teaching and learning of these abilities is well incorporated into the social studies and English language arts standards that are used to inform state and local curricular guidelines throughout most of the United States. This article describes a method of teaching civic discussion and offers a step-by-step guide for classroom implementation. It then provides an illustration of how this method is used in a 5th grade classroom.
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