“I was already living, already seeking, Local Democracy before I even had a name for it.” – Diploma in Local Democracy Graduate 2015
The Diploma in Local Democracy is participatory and democratic in format, drawing on each individual participant’s experience of democracy or absence of democracy in their personal and working lives, whether lived in Canada or elsewhere, giving a multi-dimensional hue to the collective learning experience.
Unlike the perceived image of the teacher being the repository of expert knowledge the Local Democracy gathering will be a sharing of many ‘wisdoms’ as each participant becomes a teacher-learner, sharing their own best insights and learning from one another. This will be done through sharing our biographies of democracy (where people share with the class what their own experience has taught them about democracy), through a series of fervorinos (small thematic talks) on the lifeworld vs systemworld, a collaborative class project, books reviews, and outside speakers.
The heart of the class is the discovery, together, through reflections on life experience, of the meaning of Local Democracy. Students will also learn through reading books that explore the philosophies of local democracy. The books we may suggest are drawn from The Working Centre's Ideas and Influences page, however students may choose their own book to report on.
The program will consist of 14 two-hour sessions from January-April. Candidates will have a supplementary reader given to them at the beginning of the course, a rich resource for class discussions and further thought.
The final part of the course will be a collaborative project that the class will create together. The intent of this project is to express in some creative way the experience of that year’s local democracy cohort.