Virtual Learning in History and the Educative Experience: Rethinking the Ideal of the Educated Person

Dr. Rosa Bruno-Jofre,
Dr Karin Steiner
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We argue that in the process of integration of information and communication technologies we need an ethically defensible vision of education and a redefinition and an assertion of the role of the teacher. This vision should articulate basic principles of an educative experience in Dewey’s sense as well as an ideal of the educated person. Both should be expanded to embody notions of democracy as a 'democratic way of being,' as explicated by several political philosophers, an understanding of the politics of identity and difference, an ethic of care and responsibility, and a cultivation of the constructive 'doubter'. Here the concept of doubter is borrowed from Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul, and it is qualified such that constructive means a disposition that seeks to build arguments that support problem solving.

Our argument is based on preliminary findings from pilot research in a Virtual Globe learning environment. The intent was to develop an inquiry model for the teaching of history to secondary students in light of the family of concepts mentioned above. We found that even in the context of the motivating curricular focus 'exploring the turbulent world of the 1960s' the role of student-as-doubter could be co-opted and that the technology alone could not stimulate deep thinking about the information accessed by the learners. We discuss our findings within a framework that explores the reciprocal roles of teacher and learner in building an inquiry model. This work holds significance in the context of current tendencies to develop 'edutainment,' a hybrid term that evokes the idea of social engineering of a wired generation.

Keywords: Educative Experience, Virtual Learning, Inquiry Model, Teaching of History
Stream: Teaching and Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Rosa Bruno-Jofre

Professor and Dean, Faculty of Education, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, Queen's University

Rosa Bruno-Jofré, Ph.D. (University of Calgary) is Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University. In 2004, she was renewed for a second term until June 2010. Her area of expertise is history of education in Canada and beyond. She is founding co-editor of Encounters on Education/Encuentros/Rencontres published jointly by the Faculty of Education at Queen’s and the Department of Theory and History of Education, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She is also serving as book review editor of the Canadian Journal of Higher Education. Her most recent book The Missionary Oblate Sisters: The Spirit of the Congregation and Struggles over Vision and Mission, 1904-1929. McGill/Queen’s Press is forthcoming. She co-edited with N. Aponiuk Educating Citizens for a Pluralistic Society, published by the Canadian Ethnic Studies Association in 2001. She has also published Methodist Education in Perú , 1888-1930 published by Wilfred Laurier University Press in 1988. Her articles appeared in chapters in books, journals such as Historical Studies in Education, Canadian Ethnic Studies, Manitoba History, Canadian Journal of Higher Education, among others.

In 2004, Bruno-Jofré received the Lamp of Learning Award in recognition for contribution to public education in Ontario presented by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation.

Dr Karin Steiner

educational consultant, Steiner International

Dr. Steiner's area of research is in educational psychology and learning theories. She is interested in the history of education of children with disabilities and in the ideal of the educated person.She has published articles in journals such as American Educational Research Journal, The Developmental Disability Bulletin and the International Journal of Applied Semiotics, among others. She is currently working on a book entitled "Case Studies in Social Understanding: Theory and Practice in Building Relationships with Persons with a Developmental Disability."

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