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[Xmca-l] Re: Article on Positioning Theory



Thanks, Larry for starting the discussion.

It's useful to think about our own experiences in group work. My research results surprised me. However, I shouldn't have been surprised. My own personal experiences working in groups are similar to those that I observed with the students. Some people do very little and are permitted to very little. Others do very little and are taken to task for doing very little. The main question this paper raises is why it okay for some to do very little and not for others? What are the outcomes of persistent positioning? There is a productive component that should be of concern to educators. 



Donna Kotsopoulos, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Faculty of Education & Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics
Wilfrid Laurier University
75 University Avenue West, BA313K
Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3C5
(519) 884-0710 x 3953
www.wlu.ca/education/dkotsopoulos
www.wlu.ca/mathbrains


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>>> On 3/26/2014 at 10:34 AM, in message <CAGaCnpzXMnauz79g2UvazmCudyU7y56cLUguC9wrpQXnYBTwig@mail.gmail.com>, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:

Donna's article is asking us to examine the possible unintended
consequences of promoting a "collaborative" model of classroom engagement
as possibly promoting a [mis]alignment of interactive AND reflexive
positioning in group process.

One comment that jumped out was the observation that in EVERY collaborative
group observed ONE participant was [mis]aligned in the group process. My
question is if each [mis]aligned participant was asked to re-form within a
new collaborative grouping would the same dynamic occur? Would Mitchell
possibly [re]align and become a *productive* participant who aligns with
the *task* while one of the participants would continue to be [mis]aligned??
This phenomena that in EVERY collaborative grouping there was a
[mis]alignment leads to a question if this would same dynamic is playing
out in other classroom settings?

At the end of the article the conclusion offered that persons should have a
*choice* to participate or withdraw from engaging in the collaborative
process and either work alone or with others also expresses a particular
*value* position.  When [mis]aligned with the other participants through
engaging in  a process of  *individual* reflection one *ought* to have the
*choice* to withdraw.
Could this *answer* also possibly lead to unintended consequences?

A few months ago there was an article on positioning within a kindergarten
classroom. The question asked was if there should be a *rule* or
*principle* that one cannot say "You cannot play with us?"
This rule promotes an alternative *value* position. The article described
how the central discursive dynamic was exploring if there were any
*exceptions* to this rule?  The question whether this rule should *stand*
and become a standpoint for how we position each other was left as an *open
question* which could never have a final answer. However the *interactive*
AND *reflexive* alignment and [mis]alighnent was very fluid and more like a
*stream* of positioning to be negotiated.