A democratic life is a form of associated living that requires people to participate in a pluralistic dialogue in different spheres of the civic society: government, community, and work. Higher education classes have a leading role in preparing students for participation in a democratic society; however, more could be done, in particular focusing on how students could learn participatory skills leveraging the diversity of large general education classes. In this article, I draw from Dewey's definition of democratic life and clarify the basic participatory skills necessary to further democracy. On this ground, I develop a pedagogical framework combining the teaching and learning literature with the liberal education and communication literature and suggest some teaching principles subsumed under the notion of performative learning. Then I apply this framework, developing a series of teaching strategies for a general education class titled Art and Human Values, which exemplifies how performative learning can be applied in the classroom, teaching students basic participatory skills and preparing them for a democratic life.

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