Democracy, Dialogue, and Education: An Exploration of Conflict Resolution at Jefferson Junior High
Conflict resolution programs provide scholars with a rich context to explore how social issues and ideologies are negotiated in the design and enactment of education programs. This ethnographic field study explored how participants in a junior high conflict resolution and peer mediation program, Students Taking Active Responsibility (STAR), enacted democratic and dialogic learning. Based on data collected through participant observations and interviews, we explored how students and teachers embodied particular subjectivities (e.g., democratic citizens, engaged learners) as they participated in STAR. We argue that STAR supported connected knowing by resisting the traditional binary of reason and emotion and by fostering respect and responsibility among students. Our analysis revealed tensions that emerged when participants enacted democratic and dialogic learning amidst material and social constraints.