Successful collaborative learning is often conceptualized in terms of convergence, a process through which participants' shared understanding increases. This conceptualization does not capture certain successful collaborative learning processes, especially in the humanities, where multiple perspectives are often celebrated. Such is the context of the current study, where 52 Israeli Jewish and 52 Israeli Arab high-school students collaboratively e-investigated a historical event related to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Utilizing a bi-dimensional qualitative analysis, we identified four discussion types, including fission, a non-convergent and disputatious process leading to successful collaborative learning outcomes Bakhtin's notion of Internally Persuasive Discourse highlights the quality of collaboration as manifested in the dialogic agency developed by discussants, regardless of whether or not their knowledge converged. It captures the essence of fission-like processes as well as convergence processes, and is hence useful in explaining a wider variety of learning situations, especially in multicultural and/or disputatious contexts.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the Israeli Science Foundation, Grant No. 1236/09.
© 2015, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.