Web based collaboration: An opportunity for developing critical multicultural, consciousness in the pre-service educator

Year: 2001

Author: Perrin, Denise

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The presentation investigates a range of understandings about collaboration, multicultural education and computer-assisted learning. Each educational construct, with its implied concept of interactivity, enjoys currency in the language of educational innovation and social change as articulating and integrating principles of action. They are however, uncritically advanced as the panacea for complex educational dilemmas, with scant regard for the complexity of possible meanings. Analysis makes visible the relationship between specific meanings of the constructs and their potential as agents of social change. This provides the basis for planning and facilitating particular types of collaborative, on-line interaction that emphasise conditions for innovating thinking about multicultural educational practice.

Interpretations of these constructs, together with their corresponding assumptions of interactivity, are synthesised into a framework for web-based collaboration. The model aims to advance the transformative possibilities of socially reconstructive, multicultural learning in preservice education.

The framework proposes an alternative to the distancing and objectifying orientation of previous educational discourses for diversity, which despite their rhetoric otherwise, still continue to have a static determinism about ideas around issues of culture and education.