- Sep 2021
One of the best things I picked up in project-based learning training was to be deliberate in teaching groups how to work together. Though our brains may be pretty good at it, our societies are not, and it’s only getting worse. Students need modeling and practice to be able to figure out how to interact in positive ways in groups, how to structure collaborative work, how to overcome the atomizing forces of society.
I wonder here at the stereotypical gendered views of working together. Who is better at it and why?
What social function, if any, does a more conflict-based ability to not work together provide?
Social learning does not mean learning without tension or argument. In “Thinking with Peers”, Paul shows that argument and conflict are useful ways to focus attention and strengthen ideas, so long as the arguing is done with a certain amount of openness to new ideas. She approvingly quotes Stanford Business School professor Robert Sutton’s formula for productive conflict: “People should fight as if they are right, and listen as if they are wrong.” The brain, it seems, likes conflict. Or, at least, conflict helps strengthen attention.
I wonder how this may be leveraged with those who are using Hypothes.is for conversations in the margins in classrooms?
cc: @remikalir, @jeremydean, @nateangell
Could teachers specifically sow contention into their conversations? Cross reference the idea of a devil's advocate.
I love the aphorism:
“People should fight as if they are right, and listen as if they are wrong.” — Robert Sutton, Stanford Buisness School professor's formula for productive conflict