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Collaborative Learning: Higher Education, Interdependence, and the Authority of Knowledge 2ed

Collaborative Learning: Higher Education, Interdependence, and the Authority of Knowledge 2ed

ISBN 9780801859748
Edition 2
Publication Date
Author(s)
Overview
In the first edition of Collaborative Learning, Kenneth Bruffee offered a new model for thinking about how we learn and do research. He proposed that knowledge is constructed through negotiation with others in communities of knowledgeable peers. He identified this new understanding of learning as an interdependent, collaborative enterprise. And he argued that it poses a challenge that college and university education can no longer afford to ignore. In the second edition of this widely respected work, Bruffee focuses his argument on the need to change college and university education from top to bottom, and on the need to understand knowledge differently in order to accomplish that change. Several chapters, including the one addressing collaborative learning and computers, have been thoroughly revised, and three new chapters have been added: on differences between collaborative learning and cooperative learning; on literary study and teaching literature; and on graduate education. Praise for the first edition: ''Eminently readable . . . Bruffee's is a provocative book that invites conversation about how we were acculturated in college to think about knowledge and the authority of our own teachers; about what, in our disciplines, we understand knowledge and learning to be; about how we invite students to join us in the conversation and build their own understandings.''–Jean MacGregor and Roberta S. Matthews, Change ''Bruffee calls for a total revamping of higher education by replacing the traditional–he calls it 'foundational'–acquisition of knowledge with the conception of education as cultural change . . . Anyone who has ever taught will applaud the positive aspects of such revitalization and sensitization to multiculturalism.''–Elizabeth W. Trahan, Independent Scholar ''A wonderfully written explanation and justification for substantial pedagogical and epistemological changes in teaching and learning.''–Daryl G. Smith, The Claremont Graduate School From Collaborative Learning, second edition: ON THE CURRICULUM: Behind every public debate about college curriculum today lie comfortably unchallenged traditional assumptions. When we become fully aware of how deeply and irremediably these traditional assumptions have been challenged by twentieth-century thought, we see that a potentially more serious, and perhaps more rancorous and divisive, educational debate lies in wait for us. ON THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF KNOWLEDGE: Remember the time Aunty Molly sat on the Thanksgiving turkey? Tell such a story at a family party and family members follow the story easily and get the point, because they are all members of the same small knowledge community. They know the people and the situation thoroughly, and they understand the family's private references. But try to tell the same story to neighbors or colleagues. For them to follow the story and get the point, you have to explain a lot of obscure details about family events and personalities that they're not familiar with. That is, when a smaller community sets out to integrate itself into a larger one, the level of discourse has to change. The story changes and even its meaning changes as it becomes a constituting narrative of a larger and more complex community. The main purpose of college or university education is to help older adolescents and adults renegotiate their membership in that encompassing common culture. The foundational knowledge that shapes us as children sooner or later circumscribes our lives. We never entirely outgrow the local, foundational knowledge communities into which we are born. But for most people, the need to cope to one degree or another with the diversity and complexity of human life beyond the local and familiar does outgrow knowledge that is familiar and (locally) foundational. ON POSTGRADUATE EDUCATION: The problem is not that graduate professors do not know what they need to know. The problem is that most of them have learned what they know entirely under the traditional social conditions of academic alienation and aggression. Indeed, the problem is that members of current graduate faculties were selected into the profession in part because they evidenced those traits. As a result, their fine education and superb reputations as scholars and critics may in some cased actually subvert their ability to understand knowledge as a social construct, learning as an adult social process, and teaching as a role of leadership among adults.
Overview
In the first edition of Collaborative Learning, Kenneth Bruffee offered a new model for thinking about how we learn and do research. He proposed that knowledge is constructed through negotiation with others in communities of knowledgeable peers. He identified this new understanding of learning as an interdependent, collaborative enterprise. And he argued that it poses a challenge that college and university education can no longer afford to ignore. In the second edition of this widely respected work, Bruffee focuses his argument on the need to change college and university education from top to bottom, and on the need to understand knowledge differently in order to accomplish that change. Several chapters, including the one addressing collaborative learning and computers, have been thoroughly revised, and three new chapters have been added: on differences between collaborative learning and cooperative learning; on literary study and teaching literature; and on graduate education. Praise for the first edition: ''Eminently readable . . . Bruffee's is a provocative book that invites conversation about how we were acculturated in college to think about knowledge and the authority of our own teachers; about what, in our disciplines, we understand knowledge and learning to be; about how we invite students to join us in the conversation and build their own understandings.''–Jean MacGregor and Roberta S. Matthews, Change ''Bruffee calls for a total revamping of higher education by replacing the traditional–he calls it 'foundational'–acquisition of knowledge with the conception of education as cultural change . . . Anyone who has ever taught will applaud the positive aspects of such revitalization and sensitization to multiculturalism.''–Elizabeth W. Trahan, Independent Scholar ''A wonderfully written explanation and justification for substantial pedagogical and epistemological changes in teaching and learning.''–Daryl G. Smith, The Claremont Graduate School From Collaborative Learning, second edition: ON THE CURRICULUM: Behind every public debate about college curriculum today lie comfortably unchallenged traditional assumptions. When we become fully aware of how deeply and irremediably these traditional assumptions have been challenged by twentieth-century thought, we see that a potentially more serious, and perhaps more rancorous and divisive, educational debate lies in wait for us. ON THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF KNOWLEDGE: Remember the time Aunty Molly sat on the Thanksgiving turkey? Tell such a story at a family party and family members follow the story easily and get the point, because they are all members of the same small knowledge community. They know the people and the situation thoroughly, and they understand the family's private references. But try to tell the same story to neighbors or colleagues. For them to follow the story and get the point, you have to explain a lot of obscure details about family events and personalities that they're not familiar with. That is, when a smaller community sets out to integrate itself into a larger one, the level of discourse has to change. The story changes and even its meaning changes as it becomes a constituting narrative of a larger and more complex community. The main purpose of college or university education is to help older adolescents and adults renegotiate their membership in that encompassing common culture. The foundational knowledge that shapes us as children sooner or later circumscribes our lives. We never entirely outgrow the local, foundational knowledge communities into which we are born. But for most people, the need to cope to one degree or another with the diversity and complexity of human life beyond the local and familiar does outgrow knowledge that is familiar and (locally) foundational. ON POSTGRADUATE EDUCATION: The problem is not that graduate professors do not know what they need to know. The problem is that most of them have learned what they know entirely under the traditional social conditions of academic alienation and aggression. Indeed, the problem is that members of current graduate faculties were selected into the profession in part because they evidenced those traits. As a result, their fine education and superb reputations as scholars and critics may in some cased actually subvert their ability to understand knowledge as a social construct, learning as an adult social process, and teaching as a role of leadership among adults.

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