Conversation as a medium for change in education
Jenlink, P. & Carr, A.A.
Educational change has, for the past century, been driven by a focus on solving recurring problems within the existing framework of educational institutions. This focus has manifested itself through never-ending discussions of educational problems in which very little of substance is said and even less is heard. In this paper, we distinguish among various sorts of conversations that are possible to have in schools embarking on a change journey. We examine these types of conversations by defining and differentiating them. We then examine design conversation as a medium for school change, as a way to leap out from the existing system, as a way to build community, and as a way to design new systems of human learning. We deconstruct conversation and dialogue, laying bare the values that are implicit in both forms of conversation. Finally, we suugest some strategies for beginning conversations that depart from our tradition of argument and debate in school change.