ERIC Number: ED397053
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Cognitive Individualism: An Impediment to Teachers' Collaborative Intellectual Work.
Torres, Myriam N.
The study described here studied perspectives of mid-career teachers from minority and Anglo backgrounds on collaborative intellectual work and examined the ideologies underlying these perspectives. Analysis focused on the teachers' dialogical interaction in a small group (4 teachers) and a large group (28 teachers) in relation to immediate and broader societal contexts and program characteristics. Transcriptions of the teachers' dialogues, dialogue journals, interviews, and final presentations constituted the corpus of discourse. Five perspectives on peer-group-work were identified as the basis for collaborative intellectual work: (1) pragmatic goal-oriented; (2) socio-psychological support; (3) responsive; (4) interpretive community; and (5) vehicle for social change. The group perspective was found to be supportive and responsive, although pervaded by an individualistic and instrumental way of thinking about the individual-group relationship. In this view, knowing, learning, and professional development are essentially individualized processes--"cognitive individualism." Cognitive individualism, held to be the fundamental premise of a capitalist society, represents a culturally endorsed mode of thought and action. The results of this study have implications for education in general and teacher education in particular, especially with regard to team or group approaches to teaching and learning. (Contains 37 references.) (CK)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, Critical Theory, Educational Philosophy, Elementary School Teachers, Elementary Secondary Education, Group Discussion, Group Dynamics, Group Experience, Higher Education, Individualism, Inservice Teacher Education, Participant Observation, Personal Autonomy, Secondary School Teachers, Social Change, Social Cognition, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Collaboration
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Habermas (Jurgen); Social Construction of Reality; Social Constructivism; Vygotsky (Lev S)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).