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Argumentation in critical collaboration at the DIGIT-M-ED Project

2.6 Dialogue and the co-construction of knowledge
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
4:50 PM, Thursday 31 Aug 2017 (30 minutes)
Fernanda C. Liberali (Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil), the third presenter, discusses “Argumentation in critical collaboration at the DIGIT-M-ED Project”, expanding the discussion on language organization to learning and development. As she points out Critical Collaboration (Magalhães, 2001, 2010, 2014) is understood as ways to create with language (Holzman, 2009: 40). Departing from a socio-historical-cultural tradition, based on ideas developed by Vygotsky and followers, this research relies on collaboration as a process of participation in the collective construction of living (Stetsenko, 2008; Viana and Stetsenko 2011).  In the critical perspective we adopt, collaboration is understood as a process of creating, sharing, designing, evaluating ideas. It involves deliberately making joint decisions (Magalhães 2011) through a process of critically reflecting on social-cultural-historical and political issues, interweaving the social and individual processes through language. In this perspective, conflicts and different positions are valued and creating common notions is a means for strengthening everybody’s power of acting (Liberali 2013). The role of critical collaboration emphasizes the process of participation in the construction of new possibilities of becoming (Newman and Holzman, 2013). It implies understanding, completing, expanding, contradicting others as well as being understood, completed, and contradicted by others (Liberali 2013b). It focuses on multimodal resources for the articulation of different points of views, supports, counterarguments, conclusions and/or deals. Therefore, Critical Collaboration involves not only jointly working with others but also organizing dialectical relationships. This presentation focuses on the DIGIT-M-ED – Brazil Project, designed to enable critical collaboration among the different participants involved in dialogue in meetings, workshops, and virtual loci made available by apps such as WhatsApp and software such as Skype. This project includes a group of principals, coordinators, teachers, students and researchers, all working as teacher educators responsible for triggering school transformation and community development. In order to do that, argumentation is seen as an essential form of discursive organization to trigger this process. In this presentation, data from eight workshops organized during 2015 as well as from virtual apps will be used to exemplify ways in which argumentation can help understand movements towards Critical Collaboration. The data to be presented reveals the ways in which participants move towards a more open-minded, respectful, multivoiced, multicultural and creative way of working together. 
Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo
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