Cooperative Extension has a rich history of providing research-based knowledge and functioning as a catalyst for change through community engagement. It is via this second dimension of its identity that Extension has long played a role in creating space for public issues to be understood through deliberative discussion. Rather than view the use of deliberation and discussion as only a recent development in Extension's approach to engaging citizens about public issues, I highlight efforts and challenges related to Extension's experiment with deliberation and discussion in the 1930s and 1940s and use this historic perspective to identify important implications for Extension today.
Shaffer, T. J. (2017). Supporting the "Archstone of Democracy": Cooperative Extension's Experiment with Deliberative Group Discussion. The Journal of Extension, 55(5), Article 24. https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/joe/vol55/iss5/24