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ERIC Number: EJ819753
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Feb
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-1354-0602
Convergent, Divergent and Parallel Dialogues: Knowledge Construction in Professional Conversations
Orland-Barak, Lily
Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, v12 n1 p13-31 Feb 2006
Situated in the context of a one year in-service professional development program for mentors in Israel, this study explored the process and content of mentors' professional conversations as opportunities for collaboratively constructing knowledge about mentoring. The analysis of the monthly conversations, conducted throughout an entire academic year, followed recurrent cycles of close interpretative readings to identify issues of process, content, and learning throughout the conversations. The analysis of the process of the conversations yielded the identification of three different forms of dialogues that operated complementarily in the conversations: "Convergent dialogues", "parallel dialogues" and "divergent dialogues". Analysis of the content of the conversations revealed that each of these dialogues constituted unique opportunities for participants to co-construct meanings about a different dimension of the practice of mentoring. In "convergent dialogues" participants mediated understandings that converged into learning about possible solutions to a particular dilemma in mentoring. "Divergent dialogues" featured participants' use of the conversation space to depart from their personal contexts of mentoring in order to explore, compare and make connections across practices. In these dialogues participants shifted the focus of the conversation to issues outside their particular contexts, engaging in a kind of theorizing about mentoring. In "parallel dialogues", participants used the conversation space as a setting for developing their own ideas in a kind of "dialogue with themselves". These dialogues provided important opportunities for participants to discriminate and dispute their own ideologies and fixed assumptions. The study suggests that the value of professional support frameworks designed around a conversation component lies both in its potential for creating different and varied kinds of dialogues, as well as in the active role that the facilitator or "mentor of mentors" plays in identifying the different dialogic possibilities in professional conversations. (Contains 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel