Conscientization, Dialogue and Collaborative Problem Based Learning
Keywords:Conscientization, Dialogue, Problematization, Reflexivity, Constructivism
It has been argued that Paulo Freire’s concept of conscientization, where critical awareness and engagement are central to a problem-posing pedagogy, provides the philosophical principles to underpin Problem Based Learning (PBL). By using dialogue groups and a combination of learning strategies to discover the nature of a problem, understand its constraints, options, and multi-voiced perspectives, students can negotiate the sociological nature of its resolution and how competing perspectives may inform decision-making. This paper will first present the background of PBL, before it introduces and argues for reflective and reflexive learning environments founded within dialogical practices. It then provides tales from the field that illustrate how conscientization is enacted in the classroom, before considering implications and the Ten Principles of Critical Learning’ for reflective and reflexive practice. It concludes by arguing that conscientization and the dialogical process are central to PBL in order to engage the individual voice, foster democratic practices, and for the creation of shared meanings and understandings.
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