perjantai 11. marraskuuta 2016

A pearl among competencies

In your opinion, does the conversation offer matters, what you have always missed in interaction? Try to remember the lively, fresh and creative learning and collaborative situations. How often have you participated in that kind of working together?

Digitalisation has changed our interaction and communication. Sherry Turkle (Professor at MIT) has been studying digital culture and communication for more than thirty years. We communicate all the time, but we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection. (Turkle 2015) Digital devices for learning, teaching and collaboration are continuously being developed better and better. However, the digitalisation should not minimize the possibility of learning and working together, face-to-face. Turkle writes in her book:

“Face-to-face conversation is the most human – and humanizing – thing we do. Fully present to one another, we learn to listen. It’s where we develop the capacity for empathy.” According to Turkle our passion to technology has led “to a crisis of empathy that has diminished us at home, at work and in public life.” She says that the remedy, most simply, is “a talking cure”. And I liked to add, not just any kind of talk.

People see quite often face-to-face or digital conversation so superficial that it’s no use to talk at all. They prefer to be quiet. I think it’s time to start practicing, without presumptions, exceptional conversation, dialogue, at schools and in work places. The impact on learning and collaboration could be dramatic. The reward would be tempting and great: you would learn better, collaboration would be easier and more fruitful in shorter time than usually. The target is high, but can be reached. What is it like, and how do people communicate in the new way of conversation?

Turkle (2015) emphasizes that conversation is “a cornerstone for empathy as well as for democracy; it sustains the best in education and in business it is good for the bottom line”. Empathy and equality should definitely be the guiding stars which we need to follow. How can we learn this conversation?

(My plan in the future is to write the blog texts mainly in Finnish but also in English.)

11 kommenttia:

  1. Thank you Helena for sharing this! The question you proposed here is very important for all the educators, all over the world. I also invite our Brazilian colleagues to share your thoughts related to this theme. How is this in your own context and how do you see this challenge when training your colleagues and teachers to be more skillful in dialogue? Please share your thoughts and further questions. Helena will be there on next Wednesday face-to-face, but you can start here already :-)

  2. I believe, education as a whole set of actions, people and facilities is about negotiation. I mean, each educational action will bring interaction between people in some place. So, if we want to run educational actions, we must be conscious about how to carry on negotiation between teacher and teachers, teacher and students, student and students, and other actors that play an important role into that process. It is impossible run a negotiation with a dialogue. But, as Helena Aarnio has pointed out, dialogue has been put away for different reasons. In Brasil, according my experience, it happened maybe because Brazilians do not believe in dialogue (We are a dictatorship society! Even schools) and also because digital communication (smartphones and so on). However, in Finland, I knew a different way to carry on educational actions. I saw how important is respect student's needs and how schools could help everybody for personal development. It is all about Dialogue.

    1. Thank you, Antonio for your activity and comment! I was very happy to read your answer, which is full of good starting points for a dialogue. How does dialogue differ from other forms of conversation ? For example, typical for dialogue are symmetrical participation, word-for-word listening, and inquiring with open pure questions are the actions not common in discussion or negotiation. In dialogue all are winners.

      As teachers and educators we have many possibilities to change communication and learning culture better than it used to be. Also in Finland we have a lot to do in developing learning communities in order to promote teachers' and students' dialogic collaborative learning and personal growth.

      Fortunately we have tomorrow time to practice some dialogical actions and to reflect on issues and experiences together.

    2. "In dialogue all are winners"... I loved that!

      In my opinion, one of the reasons for this dificult to build a dialogue as pointed out Antonio is the need to "win" a dialogue. We surely need to learn how to create more bridges instead walls and as educators we can help our society with this.
      One of the new roles of the a 21st century teacher is help their students to use on the best way the e-resources so I believe that we can try design activies that foster deep dialogues where the ability of conversation can be developed.

      I have to confess that is really strange to me get the conclusion that we need to think "how to foster the conversation" among our studentes. I guess that nobody predict it 10 or 20 years ago.

      Thank you to help us to reflect about it.

    3. Damione, thank you for your activity and continuation of the dialogue! It really is so that in dialogue everybody is a winner. This point is the clue in a conversation, where participants feel relaxed, experiencing freedom. It's possible to approach issues from their starting points, and create common understanding together.

      Dialogue is not just talk. Therefore most of us benefit of training dialogical actions, which generate fruitful and creative learning situations. Teachers and educators are key persons in improving conversation culture in a society. The influences are then seen in many areas, for example in better cooperation, collaboration and learning.

  3. I think that dialogicity, or the ability to generate dialgos and connection between individuals, is very important.
    I believe that this ability to generate contact between students and students and between students and teachers can be achieved in distance education. Perhaps this task is a bit more laborious to be planned and operationalized in distance education, but I think it is possible.
    In my work, I am increasingly seeking to achieve this connection.

    1. Thank your for sharing your thoughts Marize. From my own experience I think that dialogical actions through online/distance/elearning processes make sense. But also consciously guide students to be aware of their dialogical actions. What you think what will be differently then (when working 6 learning dialogically) in their learning communities?

    2. Thank you Marize, happy to read your continuation of the dialogue! Just generating of dialogue is one the areas of the dialogical competence, called "Creating a dialogical moment".

      In distance education really, more pedagogically skillful planning and operationalising is needed. According to many studies teachers and students are both learners in the blended learning area, as you certainly know. Let's have a look today, what kind of ideas we'll find together.

  4. This is something that I usually do not consider a main issue. But, at the same time, the people that we are going to handle with should need attention on this aspect. Although digital tools are making possible to communicate with people far away, those communication should not be deep or effectve. If we don't care about this issue, all planing and development in educational systens could fall apart. I remember a song that describes what I am talking about:

    People talking without speaking
    People hearing without listening
    People writing songs
    that voices never share
    And no one dared
    Disturb the sound of silence

    Let's dare... (???)

    1. Thank you, Sandro for sharing your thinking! The song describes the situation fine. The point is, as you say, to pay attention to that aspect, and be brave enough in making pioneer work in educational development.

      Superficial digital connections and communication, something better should happen in the future. How to dare to start that work, is an important question?

    2. Yet I liked to add to this chain. Your contributions are exceptional good in going into the deeper understanding of dialogue. Unusual digital comments from thinking of your own, very clearly differing from superficial online connections.