ERIC Number: ED335700
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Collaborative Learning in the Literature Classroom: Old Problems Revisited.
Some intended goals of collaborative learning are to disrupt established power relationships and to understand texts through a collaborative process of consensus and dissent. In practice, however, it is difficult to reach these goals, and students are expressing dissatisfaction with collaborative work in the classroom. A common complaint is that the students don't hear enough from the teacher in the classroom. Although the goal of the collaborative pedagogy is to empower the students, it is unclear whether students can be empowered if they do not feel empowered--when they feel, instead, actively excluded from a community of knowledge that they want to enter. Another concern is the collaborative model's emphasis on synthesis, on resolution, on consensus, and on summary, because these emphases can be totalizing and coercive, silencing minority opinions. The fact that those students who are most forceful and articulate in advancing their arguments are generally those who control what ends up counting as knowledge, negates the goal of de-emphasizing competition in the classroom. In spite of these concerns, a professor can use his or her authority in the classroom to authorize an opposing position. In this way minority views can be expressed and taken seriously. (PRA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Collaborative Learning
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).