Thursday, 5 March 2009

Conversational Theories and Dialogic Ideologies

A few musings:

1. Conversation Theory of Gordon Pask (1970). Pask puts forward a cybernetic and dialectic framework that offers a scientific theory to explain how interactions can lead to "construction of knowledge", or, "knowing". This theory preserves both the dynamic/kinetic quality and the necessity for there to be a "knower". (Wikipedia)

2. Socratic Methods or Dialogue

3. Constructivist Learning Theories of Vgotsky & Piaget. Constructivist values are about the quality of interactions with tutors, learning environment and other learners. Cooperative learning make learners accomodate different ideas, identities, misconceptions and mistakes and individuals gain new insights from group interactions. Dialog as a interaction is entirely appropriate in constructivist interactions. Constructivists aim is to make knowledge visible. Digital environments easily support such an approach through concept mapping, discursive spaces such as blogs, wikis, discussion boards and networking sites, podcasts etc.

4. Laurillard (2002) Rethinking University Teaching in the Digital Age offers a conversational model to enable a continuing iterative dialogue between teacher and student. Such as dialogue can reveal both participants' conceptions and the variations between them...

Moving into the social critical approaches/domains:

Dialogue can have inbuilt power positions. Social critical approaches to the curriculum seek to address this whilst retaining 'dialogue' at their core:

5. Paulo Freire theory of Dialogic Action

6. Egalitarian Conversation - designed to re-address the balance of power positions and the impact they can have on conversation: Dialogue is egalitarian when it takes different contributions into consideration according to the validity of their reasoning, instead of according to the positions of power held by those who make the contributions (Flecha, 2000, in Wikipedia:)

7. Social Constructivism - interactive groups of diverse learners (with different levels of education or from different backgrounds) teach and learn from each other, creating Zones of Proximal Development. Zones of Proximal Development can happen when learning from peers. Meaning making and learning do not depend solely on the intervention of professionals, but on all the knowledge brought by anyone related to the students (Flecha, 2000 in Wikipedia).

8. LeCourts Pedaogy (in Bayne 2004) anonymised discussion to allow for multiple subjectivity


Bayne, S. (2004). Smoothness and striation in digital learning spaces. E-learning 1 (2): pp. 302-316

Laurillard (2002) Rethinking University Teaching in the Digital Age

Shor, I. (1993). Education is politics: Paulo Freire's critical pedagogy. In Paulo Freire: a critical encounter. P. McLaren and P. Leonard (Eds.). (London, Routledge): pp. 25-35

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