Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Bringing women's ways of knowing to deliberative democracy

Dr. Sue Senecah, Faculty of Environmental Studies, examined the history of "Tech-Reg" decision making nvite, Inform, Ignore), and contrasted it with the more collaborative approaches to problem solving that encourage systems thinking and respect different ways of knowing (traditional as well as scientific).  The former assumes linear cause and effect; the later recognizes that much conflict arises from real or perceived obstacles to participation, and that solutions come from building a trusting relationship.  Dr. Senecah notes that trust does not denote liking, but r that other party is true to his or her word.  Out of this discussion came a realization of participants that traditional ways of knowing uses as much (if not more) listening as well as talking, which means that there may be "uncomfortable" silences as each party absorbs the others words.

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