Learning By Collaborating: Convergent Conceptual Change


Roschelle, J. (1992). Learning by collaborating: Convergent conceptual change. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 2 (3), 235-276.


The goal of this article is to construct an integrated approach to collaboration and conceptual change. To this end, a case of conceptual change is analyzed from the point of view of conversational interaction. It is proposed that the crux of collaboration is the problem of convergence: How can two (or more) people construct shared meanings for conversations, concepts, and experiences? Collaboration is analyzed as a process that gradually can lead to convergence of meaning. The epistemological basis of the framework of analysis is a relational, situated view of meaning: Meanings are taken to be relations among situations and verbal or gestural actions. The central claim is that a process described by four primary features can account for students’ incremental achievement of convergent conceptual change. The process is characterized by (a) the production of a deep-featured situation, in relation to (b) the interplay of physical metaphors, through the constructive use of (c) interactive cycles of conversational turn-taking, constrained by (d) the application of progressively higher standards of evidence for convergence.

Read more from SRI