Scenario 1: Exploring Through Conversation

Cards for Democracy
Published on
March 17, 2022
Scenario 1 Cover: Exploring Through conversation
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Exploring through conversation

A 60-card deck to reflect on our interior condition for democratic culture.

Learning to show up in the world of education with democratic values in mind


  • Introduction to Scenario 1
  • Activity Example

    • Aim
    • Expected Outcome
    • Preparation
  • Procedure

How you show up in the world matters. This is why Cards for Democracy are an important tool today. They help us develop our interior condition to support democratic environment in our life and work.

Ready to use the Cards for Democracy? We offer some suggestions for you in the form of loose frameworks in which you can develop your creativity, as an educator, facilitator, or trainer. These frameworks – we call them “Scenarios” – are intended to help you find inspiration to create your own activities.

L2C will share activities for download regularly in the C4D community of practice: Cards for Democracy Facebook group and on its media pages.

For an Introduction to the Cards for Democracy click here.

Scenario 1: Exploring through conversation

The cards themselves are a great basis to support conversation and interaction between people. They are also good for an interior conversation, for personal diaries, or portfolios. It’s quite simple.

Each card is an observable behavior, a component of competent action for a democratic culture, in the form of an “I”-statement. So, it is easy to reflect on what we are doing – or not doing – concerning this statement.

Extracts of conversation with Card K4:

• Do I ask more questions than I give answers?

I think so yes. Maybe. Maybe sometimes I don’t.

Actually, I do it best when I’m with some people

and not so much with others…

• Why is that?

• …

• Please tell a story of when you did this well!

You, or your participants, can simply pick one card randomly, read it, reflect, and have a conversation. As a facilitator you may suggest activities to frame this conversation to suit your pedagogical aims.

In Scenario 1, The cards are respectively conversation starters, support for reflection and sharing one’s practices, support for setting learning goals.

Here is an example of such an activity.

Teachers learning with the Cards for Democracy

Activity Example: Speed Dating for Democracy

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• To develop our competence for democratic practice through conversation

• To develop an awareness of our interior condition for everyday democracy

• To help each other grow democratic attitudes, skills, and knowledge & understandings for democracy

• In the case of professional development, The Cards for Democracy – Teachers’ edition can be used to help teachers develop competence for a democratic practice in education, through the development of attitudes, skills, and knowledge & understandings for democracy.

Expected Outcome

• Participants will assess their own environment* in terms of mutual understanding, trust, respect, and solidarity, and excellence.

• They will consider how much they, as individuals, can contribute to a more democratic environment*.

*the environment can be of many sorts: classroom, school, university, sports club, training…


• Make sure you have printed all the cards that you want to use (this may vary depending on what you have explored and how long you want this part of the session to last).The cards are available in the products section of Learn to Change. You can become a member by clicking here

• You need enough space for making two rows of participants and to move around comfortably. Alternatively, you can do this activity with the participants standing in two concentric circles.


Step 1: Positioning

Place cards on the floor to form a circle big enough for

participants to stand on each side of the cards.

Ask all the participants to line up in 2 concentric circles,

facing each other to form pairs:

If you don’t have enough space, you can make 2 rows

instead of circles:

Step 2: Start a round

Each card now sits between each pair. Start playing music. Tell participants to move with the music turning in circles: the outer circle goes clockwise, and the inner circle goes counterclockwise (see arrows on Figure 1).

When the music stops, they stop moving and they meet their partner to form a pair. They stay in place, and they read the card that is at their feet between them.

Step 3: Each participant takes turns so that each round is 6 minutes

Tell participants that they can discuss with their partners what they already do in their life and practices to show this behavior or action. For example, “How do I manage to encourage the inclusion of vulnerable people and/or groups? When was the last time I did that? How did I feel when I did it? When did I not do it? What makes it easy/hard to do it?” etc.

They also exchange ideas about what else can be done to develop the attitude, skill or knowledge/understanding referred to on the card.

• 1 minute: Participant A tells the story, B listens

• 2 minutes: Participant B gives feedback, ask questions A and B have a conversation

• 1 minute: Participant B tells the story, A listens

• 2 minutes: Participant A gives feedback, ask questions A and B have a conversation

Step 4: Start a new round

When 6 minutes are over, ring the bell to stop conversations. Ask if there are any questions about the procedure? Now, restart the music and invite participants to move again clockwise and counterclockwise. Stop the music, another 6-minute round starts, etc… Repeat, allowing participants to talk to as many different partners within the time available. Make as many rounds as you wish.

We suggest at least 3 rounds are necessary for participants to start warming up and gaining more understanding of how one can support a democratic culture through awareness of one’s interior condition for this.

Step 5: Debriefing

Possible questions for debriefing that we have found generative are:

• How did you feel during the activity?

• Did you learn something new? What would that be?

• Did anything surprise you?

• Do you have any ideas of what you would like to develop in the near future, concerning your interior condition for democracy?

Step 6: Disbanding

Formulate who-questions such as “Who had trouble to give a real-life example of the action on the card?”, “Who learnt something new?” “Who has ideas on what they will do to develop their attitudes, skills and knowledge?” etc. and when a person can answer YES! she leaves the circle (you may elicit some to speak up and share if you haven’t had the time to do step 5 fully)… until everyone has left the circle and the activity is over.

Download the activity

By downloading Scenario 1 – Exploring through conversation, you will have a PDF resource to keep and consult for your activities.


Pascale Mompoint Gaillard

Social psychologist/consultant, Co-founder of Learn to Change, who has worked in the area of intercultural communication, education and leadership training for the past 25 years, in Europe and the USA.


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