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RE: [ba-ohs-talk] Fixed ideas and polarization

At 03:14 PM 9/12/02 -0700, Gary Johnson, in a discussion with Peter Jones 
><massive snippage/>    (01)

>What I do propose, however, is that we study the nature of the problems
>whose solution we hope to facilitate, and to use that analysis to affect the
>nature of the tools we build. In this case, that we look toward augmenting
>individual capability as a necessary precondition to augmenting group
>Garold (Gary) L. Johnson
I've been reading from the book _Electronic Collaborators: learner-Centered 
Technologies for Literacy, Apprenticeship, and Discourse_ edited by Curtis 
Jay Bonk and Kira S. King.  On page 58, a chapter on critical thinking 
authored by Thomas M. Duffy, Bill Dueber, and Chandra L. Hawley, the 
discussion begins to focus on points that I think to be appropriate to 
Gary's comment above, augmenting individual capability.    (02)

I'll quote snippets from those points here, and note that they lend some 
level of support to the notions of "augmented story telling" that I have 
been exploring of late.  These authors speak to the need for two different 
spaces, one for story telling, where people just want to get heard, and one 
for argumentation, issue-based discussion.    (03)

"The foundation of group work, we propose, is conversation: We talk to each 
other to explore issues and seek common ground. Conversation is the general 
discussion between team members in which there is assessment of the group 
knowledge base and perspectives relevant to the problem. It is primarily 
"me"-centered, featuring a lot of "Here is what I think" types of comments 
made in response to an issue presented."    (04)

"Educators have typically eschewed this type of conversation among 
students. Students are criticized for talking past each other and for not 
systematically analyzing the issue. ...we want to argue that this sort of 
exploratory posturing is a necessary part of the collaborative 
problem-solving process."    (05)

"In contrast to conversation, issue-based discussion is focussed on moving 
to the development of the recommended solution or plan. Unlike the temporal 
flow of a conversation, the issue-based discussion is organized around 
important issues."    (06)

"For all the reasons already discussed, we believe that a system to support 
critical thinking and inquiry must support both the conversation and the 
issue-based discussion. Furthermore, we think that there is a need to link 
the two types of discussion so participants can review the context from 
which the issues arose and move back and forth between the issue discussion 
and the conversation."    (07)

Leaving the quotes, I would argue that email lists such as this and the 
unrev list, are, and seem to behave as though they are best suited for 
conversation. These lists bring out the best in those of us who are 
logical, and in those of us who have firm, rigid ideas of truth, and in 
those who aren't sure which way to go.  I think Peter and I proved that you 
cannot start an IBIS discussion here. People who join this list want to be 
heard, not herded.    (08)

So, consider it Park's conjecture that if we are going to help the 
individual do better, we must provide the individual with those tools which 
facilitate opportunities to do better (whatever that may mean).    (09)

I think that purple numbers in emails (say, automatically appended when 
they are posted and before distribution) which are URLs to some "home page" 
where an IBIS discussion can occur, make sense.  That, of course, is the 
nature of the NexistWiki experiment, but it could just as easily be done by 
way of enhancements to email technology.    (010)

I might add that the real work lies, I think, in the study of the problems 
to be solved. I think that the nature of that beast needs to be examined, 
and soon. I'll cite the example going on over at unrev where a simple post 
of some news on one subject brought out strong opinions on the subject 
which eventually mutated into personal attacks on those who post the 
news.  Is the nature of the discussion to be based on the news items 
(stories) (as planned), or on the nature of argumentation (as occurred)?    (011)

My 0.009 EUROs for the day.
Jack    (012)