December, 2006

'New' Collaborative Learning Environments

The Convergence of Hermeneutics and Hypertext
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Read the chapter at SSRN, and purchase the book at

Don Lavoie was the consummate teacher. He embraced the life of the mind, the world of ideas and philosophies and books with all of his being. And, he taught by example rather than by pronouncements, that being a scholar meant that you had to respect but not be bound by disciplinary borders, that being a teacher meant that you had to give generously not only of your ideas but of your time, and that being a student meant that you had to be an ardent and assiduous reader. Indeed, the anchor of Lavoie's pedagogic creed, to borrow a term from Dewey, was a belief that one of the best ways to learn was by meticulously questioning a text and then listening intently to what it and your fellow questioners had to say to you in reply. Consequently, Lavoie (ever the good hermeneuticist) embraced those settings that facilitated this play of questions and answers. Although he was an excellent lecturer and enjoyed teaching in the traditional classroom, he thrived in the workshop, in the readings group, in the one-on-one conversation and in the hypertextual learning environment.