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Dialogism, Mikhail Bakhtin

Prezi for Drew Whitworth's presentation at LILAC 2014, Sheffield, UK, 24/4/14

Drew Whitworth

on 16 July 2014

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Transcript of Dialogism, Mikhail Bakhtin

'Primary theorist of dialogism'
A critical phenomenography
information literacy
...in ways that
(not annul) cognitive authority -- and the necessary knowledge, skills and awareness to support and scrutinise this authority
Dialogism, Mikhail Bakhtin
and information literacy

Theoretical foundations of IL?
Two 2013 keynotes...
Andrew Whitworth, University of Manchester
Christine Bruce at ECIL...
Annemaree Lloyd at i3
Both said that it is not
practice that IL is
lacking... but theory
Carr & Kemmis (1986) bemoan a theory-practice
gap in education, writ large...

Then there is the library-academic gap...

It's been
40 years now
since Zurkowski's paper
What we need are not more
...but to ask: maybe it is something about
the way IL has been conceptualised, that
keeps these gaps open?
A critical theory of information literacy - and a dialogic one
IL as learning
Bruce et al
IL as practice,
To bridge this gap requires:
theories of learning
theories of communication and language
theories of the organisation, of power
Instrumental rationality
Single-loop learning
Communicative rationality
Double-loop learning
"...scientific ‘objectivity’ is not something that can be secured by mechanically applying some logical proof or by appealing to a realm of uninterpreted neutral ‘facts’. ‘Objectivity’ involves not a naive belief in neutrality so much as a shared intersubjective agreement about the sort of norms of enquiry and standards of rationality which will ensure that theories can be critically assessed without the undue intervention of subjective bias and personal prejudice....

"‘objective’ reality is itself that which corresponds to the intersubjective agreement of a community of enquirers whose deliberations are conducted in accordance with shared standards of rationality. ‘Objectivity’, therefore, is achieved when participants reveal a willingness to make their views and preconceptions available for critical inspection and to engage in discussion and argument that is open and impartial." (Carr & Kemmis 1986, 121-2).
Both 'sides' are needed....

In systems, knowledge is

Cognitive authority
is a factor
of positioning in a system
In dialogue, knowledge is reviewed,
scrutinised and if necessary transformed

Cognitive authority is established through
the dialogue; thus, the dialogue itself is
the normative core
Theories of genre have been mentioned
in a few IL papers before (Simmons; Andersen;
Torras et al) -- but no prior detailed investigation
Dialogue is formed of

-- the missing ingredient?
Elicit experience of variation -- but sensitive
to uneven valuations of these (cf. mapping)
How can we learn to
(Wenger, White & Smith 2009) our information landscapes?
'Anyone can cook'
'Learn to see'
(Ricardo Blaug)
Don't just look for 'IL' as
the library defines it
Broaden the spectrum of potential allies:
e.g. what about trade or student unions?
Literacy is context-
Judgments are made within
individual horizons, with
varying understandings of
time and place
...the meaning of which
simply cannot be
determined out of context
Some utterances are made in ways
that close off possible responses...
...but even silence, or an automated
response, is still a move in dialogue
Therefore, no utterance can ever
be the 'final word'
From dialogue springs

...not the discovery of rules, but the
finding of new possibilities within
existing structures
Sometimes one must follow (cognitive)
authority, accept validity claims, conform
to procedure...

... apart from anything else, it saves time
(cognitive work)
This forces us to ask.... when someone
is exhibiting 'literate' behaviour in a given context:

* are they conforming to authority, or scrutinising its claims?

* are the criteria for 'literacy' defined in ways that
keep them open for review (double-loop learning)?

* what will be the (immediate, and longer-term) consequence of this behaviour for the evolution of
the information landscape?
See also my paper at the Networked
Learning conference (on Slideshare,
or www.networkedlearningconference.org.uk)
& what happens to the maps (mental models)?
open to further scrutiny?

or embedded in a system, a procedure, a standard -- hidden from view?
The work of Bruce & colleagues at
QUT has applied phenomenographic
methodologies to the study of information
practice in various fields
Elicit the
of variation...

..not just a research methodology,
but a way of facilitating learning,
changing understandings
Who draws them...
Remember the points
about knowledge formation...
Acknowledging the reality of power
-- and its
monologic nature -- how can information literacy be reconceptualised around a critical, dialogic
Offer expertise, facilitate experience
of variation.... but
in context
Idea: join research consortia, not
just offering library support, but as
active participants

Calls: Connected communities (AHRC)
Wellcome Trust -- informal learning
of science with U-19s
EU H2020: Smart Urban Futures
Thank you.
Twitter: @DrewWhitworth1

'Radical Information
Literacy: Reclaiming
the political heart of
the IL movement'

Summer 2014,

But sometimes these
must be challenged...

this takes both learning, and
the capacity to transform
practice - and information
& what about the lbrary specificatlly?
This is implied in a
critical phenomenography
Full transcript