This coming spring, we are excited to host D Teams that will focus on three topics connected by questions about the nature of public education and education policy. Registration for Spring 2024 D Teams is open from January 11 until January 28 (at noon). Below, you can find a brief introduction to our D Teams program and to this spring’s theme of education.
What are D Teams?
D Teams are small teams of about 6-10 people that meet three times per semester in order to discuss contentious topics in empathic and productive ways, and to pave the way toward catalyzing creative solutions to difficult problems in the public sphere. D Teams may meet in person or virtually.
A few things make the D Team experience unique compared to other discussions about controversial topics. First, D Team discussions are facilitated by a DCI Fellow who has been trained in the kind of facilitation that leads to good discussions. Second, D Team participants get access to deliberation guides designed specifically for each topic that they discuss. And third, D Teams provide an opportunity to connect meaningfully with others beyond one’s immediate social or professional circle. You can learn more about the background and structure of this program here.
It was my first DCI experience, and I was not sure quite what to expect. I was one of 2 non-students on our team, and part of the draw to participate was to hear and learn from current students how they think and feel about such a difficult, complex, politically-charged topic. It was an enlightening and encouraging experience; I came away more hopeful, and impressed by the DCI initiative.—D Team Participant
What are the topics of discussion for Spring 2024?
In the coming semester, we be investigating the nature of public education while paying attention to the particular details each specific issue below presents. D Teams meet three times per semester, and over the course of the term each D Team will explore the following topics (one per meeting):
- Public Education and School Vouchers: When should parents be granted vouchers to pay for private schools, if ever?
- Grades and Standardized Tests: How should student learning and excellence be assessed and measured, if at all?
- Topic: What are the implications of autonomy for the morality and legality of censoring books?
Why did we choose these topics?
The DCI solicited feedback on potential topics that were suggested by the DCI Fellows and former D Team participants via a survey that was shared within the Davidson community and the DCI’s online community — our blog and newsletter subscribers and Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter followers. These topics were among the top choices that our survey respondents were interested in discussing, and they are all timely in their own ways.
I was very grateful to have this kind of opportunity to have these conversations in a context where I knew I shared something with all other participants even though we are in many different stages and paths in life.—D Team Participant
How do I sign up?
Registration for Spring 2024 D Teams is open from January 11 to January 28, 2024 (at noon). Register today and help us build a better democracy, one conversation at a time.