A Dialogical Approach to the Construction of Knowledge
Dialogue provides a way of communicating with another human being in a meaning-making process. In this sense, meaning-making can be considered a socially constructed process resulting in insightful constructs that create symbols via a means of conveying ideas or information, and such abstractions can be considered to be a dynamic force in teaching and learning. In a Bohmian dialogue (Bohm, 2004), there is a complementary way to achieve this level of understanding, involving a depth of self-reflexivity and consciousness not many socialized peoples want to attempt, much less experience. In David Bohm’s model of dialogue, there is not a focus or goal or outcome, it is also about the process of deconstructing our individual and collective ways of knowing, to co-construct new, or shared ways of knowing. This paper examines Bohm’s initial conceptions of dialogue, and the expanded notions of dialogue being practiced in alternative organizations of teaching and learning. The claim is that there is a lack of “authentic” dialogue taking place between Western and non-Western ontological and epistemological perspectives, but also within those contexts in the Western academic tradition itself. It is proposed that such dialogical exchanges can, and perhaps are, creating greater communication and a more participatory, critical consciousness.
Keywords: Dialogue, Consciousness, Knowledge Construction
Dr. Stacey Duncan
College Instructor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction