Agency as Living Truthfully

I read two articles by Richard Williams on agency, since I think that it is a fundamental component of a theory of conversation and any theory of instruction. The argumentation of the two articles was pretty similar, although the later article (Williams, 1999) addressed a Mormon audience and thus applied the concepts to principles within … Continue reading Agency as Living Truthfully


Independent vs Collaborative Learning

This week in Dr. Graham's class our four readings had to do with issues of self-directed, independent learning versus collaborative, group-based learning.  It's interesting that I didn't think of the "vs." element until later.  While reading the articles the tensions between collaborative and independent learning were not foremost in my mind. Of the four readings, … Continue reading Independent vs Collaborative Learning

Sawyer’s “Creating Conversations”

I finished Keith Sawyer's very interesting book Creating Conversations.  In addition to being an academic, Sawyer is a jazz musician, and spent two years as the pianist for an improvisational theater group.  In this book he brings together his interests in creativity, conversation, collaboration, and improv to argue that conversation ("casual, unplanned conversation" p. 1) … Continue reading Sawyer’s “Creating Conversations”

Tharp & Gallimore: Instructional Conversations

With a neo-Vygotskian theoretical framework, Roland Tharp and Ronald Gallimore present a theory of teaching in their book Rousing Minds to Life.  First, they define teaching in this way: "Teaching must be redefined as assisted performance.  Teaching consists in assisting performance.  Teaching is occurring when performance is achieved with assistance” (p. 21, italics in original).  … Continue reading Tharp & Gallimore: Instructional Conversations