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[Xmca-l] Re: Collaboration

I’m not sure where the notion of distributed cognition fits in here. Is it relevant? Has anyone done any work linking collaboration, distributed cognition and educational practice?


> On 19 Apr 2016, at 7:58 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> Perhaps the work of mike tomasello is relevant to this discussion. I attach
> one article. Interesting title, too.
> mike
> On Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 8:32 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>> Collaboration has a whole spectrum in many different directions. But I
>> think the conflict is an essential part of collaboration. Collaboration is
>> unity and difference. Both are required or there is no collaboration. The
>> "conflict" may be trivial, but then the moment of collaboration is trivial
>> as well. And the learning is trivial.
>> I take collaboration as essentially between distinct, i,e, mutually
>> independent subjects. If two people who are clones of each other work
>> together on the same task, since their every thought is identical there is
>> no conflict. Equally two employees, for example, carrying out orders from
>> the same boss, work together, I don't see this as collaboration. But these
>> are trivial limiting cases. All collaborators have differences relevant to
>> the task at hand, and unless it is just a routine division of labour (which
>> I call cooperation), or conflict is forbidden or suppressed, there has to
>> be some conflict, some ripple on the waters.
>> Andy
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> *Andy Blunden*
>> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>> On 19/04/2016 1:01 AM, Glassman, Michael wrote:
>>> Hi Larry and Andy,
>>> This issue of commitment is a difficult one.  If I might bring in a
>>> little bit of Mark Granovetter and Everett Rogers, marriage is a strong tie
>>> relationships.  Individuals make a commitment to it, as Larry says, so that
>>> the relationship is sustainable through even adversarial conflict, or does
>>> not collapse at the first sign of conflict.  But most collaborations,
>>> especially those that lead to problem solving, are based in weak tie
>>> networks.  Do we want to say that weak ties networks can only lead to
>>> cooperation.  Isn't there something to collaboration that allows
>>> individuals without a prior or even sustainable relationship to come
>>> together to create change through evolutionary disagreement that does not
>>> engender conflict?  Is that collaboration or is it something else.
>>> Michael
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
>>> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Lplarry
>>> Sent: Monday, April 18, 2016 10:25 AM
>>> To: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity <
>>> xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Collaboration
>>> Andy,
>>> This introduction of the image of marriage as the archetype of
>>> collaboration certainly opens the concept of collaboration to multiple
>>> aspects of *engaging conflict* or *managing conflict*.
>>> To say collaboration is (like) marriage carries us into a vast field of
>>> shared (and conflictual) meanings.
>>> Interesting how this image opens towards the imaginal and then travels to
>>> distinguishing ZPD from scaffolding.
>>> To move from co-operation towards collaboration (as marriage) is moving
>>> towards notions of *commitment* and *determinate relations* that remain
>>> always *open to change* but within a continuing commitment/collaboration.
>>> Marriage is a pregnant gestating image for engaging the concept of
>>> collaboration. Marriage as socio-historically meaningful.
>>> Sent from my Windows 10 phone
>>> From: Andy Blunden
>>> Sent: April 18, 2016 5:58 AM
>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Collaboration
>>> The field is rife with different definitions; I choose the set of
>>> definitions which suit the overall concept I am developing. Can't do
>>> anything about that! But the issue of
>>> *conflict* is absolutely essential. Any co-called collaboration in which
>>> conflict is either suppressed or organised away is certainly not worthy of
>>> the name.
>>> That said, conflict has the potential always to destroy a collaboration,
>>> and at the same time can be moderated so successfully that it is positively
>>> enjoyable. The archetype of collaboration is marriage, so we all know what
>>> this is about. Managing conflict is the most essential element of
>>> collaboration, but that includes encouraging it as well as moderating it.
>>> This issue has echoes of the ZPD vs "scaffolding" question.
>>> Andy
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> *Andy Blunden*
>>> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>> On 18/04/2016 10:33 PM, Glassman, Michael wrote:
>>>> Hi Andy,
>>>> Thanks for your response.  I would like to put aside the issue of
>>>> computers which I think is extraordinarily complex (are we talking about
>>>> the Internet, or the Ethernet, or the Web, or Artificial Intelligence or
>>>> Augmentation?  More and more I am feeling these distinctions are critical).
>>>> But your post does refer to issues I am struggling with.  There has been
>>>> a lot of talk of the difference between cooperation and collaboration at a
>>>> number of levels.  Right now I think I like Stephen Downes' distinction
>>>> which is cooperation is engaging in community work for your own needs - so
>>>> you never really give yourself up to the learning community, while
>>>> collaboration involves actually creating a community.  Others I think see
>>>> collaboration as the development of shared meaning while cooperation is
>>>> simply (shared isn't the right word, right?) action towards a goal.  I
>>>> think both to a certain degree reflect your thinking.
>>>> I am interested in the idea of conflict, which I think would be
>>>> antithetical to PISA's conception of collaboration, they seem to be looking
>>>> to cut down on conflict as much as possible.  It also seems to work against
>>>> a number of uses of collaboration in the field of education.  Does Alfie
>>>> Kohn talk about collaboration - what would he say about conflict.
>>>> So I'm thinking though these just working together visions of
>>>> collaboration are missing that "something" and conflict, as
>>>> counter-intuitive as it is to models of collaboration might make sense.
>>>> But what do we mean by conflict.
>>>> Is it conflict between members of the collaborative group or is it the
>>>> abilities of the collaborative group to see conflict between their
>>>> solutions and the realities of the world around them (I know, another
>>>> loaded phrase).
>>>> We also have a tendency to see conflict of adversarial.  If there is one
>>>> thing I think collaboration is, it is non-adversarial in nature.  So can
>>>> ideas be in conflict without individuals raising those being adversarial
>>>> with each other.  What if people are adversarial to each other and yet
>>>> still work together to accomplish important things, or is this
>>>> cooperation?  Or is these another concept that hasn't been defined, or
>>>> perhaps I am not grasping?
>>>> The danger with PISA's definition is there is really no mechanism for
>>>> change.  Should collaboration have a mechanism for change or innovation?
>>>> Thoughts running around my head.
>>>> MIchael
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>> [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
>>>> Sent: Sunday, April 17, 2016 9:10 PM
>>>> To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Collaboration
>>>> "Collaboration" is a big word in my universe, Michael, so I'll offer
>>>> some observations.
>>>> Collaboration as "together working" means specifically working together
>>>> to a common object (aim). That generally entails working together to change
>>>> an object-of-labour (/Arbeitsgegenstand/).
>>>> There is a lot of discussion about the difference between Collaboration
>>>> and the etymologically identical Cooperation, much of this is in the
>>>> "educational debate." As I see it, Collaboration essentially involves both
>>>> cooperation and conflict. Conflict is also one form or aspect of
>>>> collaboration, because the parties are working towards two opposite
>>>> concepts of the same object. "Object" here therefore has a slippery
>>>> meaning. It can mean the /Arbeitsgegenstand/, the object worked upon, or
>>>> the Gegenstand, the object aimed for. Both ideas incorporate the
>>>> possibility of difference.
>>>> Collaboration essentially involves the coming together of distinct
>>>> parties (or subjects). True Collaboration involves a merging of the
>>>> subjectivities for the course of a single project, but there are "limiting
>>>> cases" of non-collaborative collaboration. These include an exchange of
>>>> labour governed by a negotiation of a contract (such as customer-service
>>>> provider in which the subjects retain their mutual independence throughout)
>>>> and command-and-obey (in which one subject is subordinated to another).
>>>> Cooperation does not imply conflict within the working relationship
>>>> usually because there is a division of labour; Collaboration on the other
>>>> hand involves each party taking a critical attitude towards the
>>>> contribution of the other party. o conflict is an essential ingredient to
>>>> Collaboration.
>>>> Collaboration is a learning process, to the extent that one could argue
>>>> that learning can *only* be a Collaborative process. So Collaboration means
>>>> that the object (aim) of the labour changes, because the /concept /of the
>>>> object changes.
>>>> Collaborators learn about the object (worked upon) in the process of
>>>> working on it, and the object (aim) by realising it.
>>>> In education there has been an unfortunate development in which (1)
>>>> students work independently because they are physically or organisationally
>>>> distant, (2) Collaboration between the students is then facilitated by the
>>>> use of computer and communication equipment, (3) Students who are already
>>>> face-to-face are obliged to introduce a computer between them so that their
>>>> collaboration, instead of being face-to-face, mediated only by the
>>>> /Arbeitsgegenstand/, they now find their Collaboration mediated by a
>>>> computer. That is, "Collaboration" has come to mean the undermining of
>>>> Collaboration by the use of Collaborative tools to avoid closer
>>>> collaboration.
>>>> And this is the danger. The education bureaucracy has heard a bit about
>>>> the benefits of Collaboration as a learning process, and that Collaboration
>>>> requires equipment. So they get the idea that they have to separate
>>>> students or researchers from one another so that they can collaborate.
>>>> Once separated the bureaucacy can provide equipment to allow students
>>>> to Collaborate notwithstanding their having been separated from one
>>>> another. And the same goes for
>>>> students+teachers, research+industry, management+workers, etc.
>>>> Does that help, Michael?
>>>> Andy
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> *Andy Blunden*
>>>> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>>> On 18/04/2016 6:38 AM, Glassman, Michael wrote:
>>>>> Hello all,
>>>>> I have a question for anybody who might be willing to respond. How do
>>>>> you define collaboration?  What spurs this question is that PISA is
>>>>> developing a framework for testing collaboration internationally.  At first
>>>>> I thought I was getting punked, but it really is happening, the framework
>>>>> is at the link below.   The idea of collaboration is being used more and
>>>>> more - especially in contexts that involve computer/web based research, but
>>>>> it often times seems to be a placeholder.  The word only came into vogue
>>>>> late nineteenth century I think -  col meaning together and labore meaning
>>>>> to labor.  A lot of people who discuss collaboration invoke Vygotsky (e.g.
>>>>> the PISA framework) or sometimes Dewey (Although I am kind of sure Dewey
>>>>> never actually used the word collaboration, but I  might be wrong).  Anyway
>>>>> the PISA document defines collaboration but in a very simplistic way I
>>>>> think so that it is not wrong but not helpful.  I know there was some
>>>>> research around language (being able
>>>>  to
>>>>    create shared meanings).  But so far to me it seems to miss the
>>>>> point, but I can't think what I would replace it with.  I guess you could
>>>>> call this a request for comments.  I find PISA creating a test for
>>>>> collaboration kind of dangerous.
>>>>> https://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisaproducts/Draft%20PISA%202015%20Collabor
>>>>> a tive%20Problem%20Solving%20Framework%20.pdf
>>>>> Michael
> -- 
> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
> that creates history. Ernst Boesch
> <Tom.cooperation.pdf>