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ERIC Number: ED355551
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Nov
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Faculty and Student Communities: The Interactive Contexts of Teachers and Learners.
Gibson, Sharon S.
Writing teachers should draw on their own use of collaborative techniques in attempting to develop similar support systems within the writing classrooms and in the larger university community. Teacher awareness of the problems that faced them in their past attempts at collaboration should inform them concerning their propensity to oversimplify the collaborative process. The opposing forces of language and group process are the forces that make working together a creative activity. The tensions of language and group work might be termed a "dialectics of discourse" because areas of disagreement are essentially areas of new knowledge. The forces of dissensus--the areas of disagreement, confusion, questions and objections--are more productive and creative than consensus in group discourse settings. Language itself consists of opposing forces; likewise, there are vast differences between individual and communal meanings. Any classroom, furthermore, is composed of a wide range of contexts and backgrounds as experienced by participants. Students, like professional scholars, belong to many different overlapping and often conflicting communities. In short, a true representation of a dialectics of discourse must presume that it is without beginning or end and all language and community forces are constantly interacting. Committees, for example, often produce their most dazzling results when faced with the most dissensus and conflict. True collaborative work, if it is to be fruitful, is always messy and full of conflict. (Two figures illustrating graphically the concept of a "dialectics of discourse" are attached.) (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A