Democratic Dialogue as a Process to Inform Public Policy

Deirdre M. Smith, Jessica Qua-Hiansen


An exploration of the collaborative reconceptualization of a provincial Supervisory Officer’s Qualification Program (SOQP) through the use of dialogic approaches is the focus of this inquiry. The stories, perspectives, and lived experiences of supervisory officers, principals, teachers, parents, students, and members of the public in Ontario were included as essential voices and information sources within policy development conversations. These narratives of experience revealed the forms of knowledge, skills, dispositions, and ethical commitments necessary for effective supervisory officers today and in the future. They also illustrated the transformative nature of narrative dialogue to enlighten, deepen understanding, and alter perspectives. The policy development processes used in this publicly shared educational initiative
serve as a model of democratic dialogue. The inclusive and dialogic methods
employed to collectively reconceptualize a supervisory officer formation program illustrate
an innovative framework for developing policies governing the public good.


Supervisory officer; Narrative; Dialogic policy development

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Copyright (c) 2015 Deirdre M. Smith, Jessica Qua-Hiansen

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