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How can teachers in a democracy help people value, listen to and understand ideas and perspectives that differ from their own through the use of interpretive discussions and why is this important? Interpretive discussions engage participants in collaborative inquiry about the meaning
of a text. In Dewey’s view in Democracy and Education, and in the author’s view, learning to listen with respect and interest to views different from one’s own is essential in a democracy. Democratic practices available through participation in interpretive discussion
can help people learn to listen to differences in these ways. These practices are described in this paper.