ERIC Number: ED373363
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Giving or Taking Authority: Exploring the Ideologies of Collaborative Learning.
Ryder, Phyllis Mentzell
If social constructionism would seem to encourage collaborative learning, it is not hard to understand why feminist instructors would align themselves with this philosophical position. In "Women's Ways of Knowing," however, M. Belenky, B. Clinchy, M. Goldberger and J. Tarule present quite different feminist justifications for collaborative learning. "Connected teachers"--the kind most appropriate for women students--"try to create groups in which members can nurture each other's thoughts into maturity." While social constructionists and the authors of "Women's Ways of Knowing" both ask students to see themselves as authorities and both lead students to construct new knowledge, the first suggest collaborative activity should center around conflict, and the others suggest it should center on connection. The difficulty with the latter view is that it could be construed to advocate female passivity; the only safe classroom for women would be one that invites critique and engagement. How can the instructor allow the uneasiness that will inevitably arise through conflict and still ensure that students feel that they can speak honestly and passionately? One way would be to make a place for ambiguity in the classroom. If students can acknowledge that constructing new truths takes time, they need not push for closure in discussions. According to "Women's Ways of Knowing," ambiguity is helpful to the woman student. (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Collaborative Inquiry; Collaborative Learning; Feminist Pedagogy; Social Constructivism; Student Empowerment
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (45th, Nashville, TN, March 16-19, 1994).