Learning Together: Confucius and Freire Collaborate to Redefine a Community of Learning

Learning Together: Confucius and Freire Collaborate to Redefine a Community of Learning

Sue K. Park (Claremont Lincoln University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9814-5.ch013

Abstract

In this chapter, the writer unfolds and develops a fundamental praxis of collaboration. Drawing on the wisdom of Freire and Confucius, the author of this chapter on collaboration delineates it from three different perspectives: liberative, practical, and philosophical. Through these three perspectives, she discusses collaboration as a necessary component of online education and offers key principles to shape effective and successful collaborative efforts. Confucian humanism lays the foundation and context for Freire's liberative pedagogy in education; the writer brings these two theoretical practitioners into conversation to offer practical principles for collaboration between educators and students in online spaces.
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Background

Collaboration is a broad concept that needs concrete definitions and boundaries. In this chapter, the broad boundary for collaboration is all types of work done by two or more people in an educational setting, whether traditional or nontraditional. Traditional educational settings include any higher education institutions (both online and on-ground), professional learning and training sessions, and continuing education for professionals. Nontraditional educational settings encompass any community-organized training sessions, workshops led by faith and civic organizations, and any type of learning gathering outside a formal educational institution. The narrow boundaries for collaboration discussed in this chapter include classroom discussions, online higher education discussion boards, student projects (written or using other media), conference participation that involves working in groups (e.g., panel presentations, committees, and organizing), publishing with one or more partners, professional projects completed by educators and researchers, and lectures and lessons taught in physical classrooms and online courses.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Reflection: A deep internal thought process in which one considers implications and logic of theory, situation, and context of an issue in relation to one’s own experience and context. It may be iterated.

Praxis: A reflection-action cycle of applying theories into practice, in which both theories and practices may experience change.

Liberative: Any theory, action, or effort contributing and related to bringing justice in the world. It requires one to intentionally and actively change the status quo to bring positive change to result in justice.

Constructivism: A school of thought that sees knowledge as layered and built rather than transferred or acquired.

Context: Any circumstances that situate an issue, topic, or theory.

Inclusive: Including and embracing human diversity, including but not limited to ability, color, culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and language.

Collaboration: An act of working together both face-to-face and virtually.

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