Collaboration riffing, Democracy, and Liberty

I know that we’re experiencing some classroom turmoil, so I decided to give you an opportunity to take your mind off of the stress and instead talk about sports. This week has become the holy grail of sports-talk radio due to the Final Four, the start of the Major League baseball season, and the Masters, so its hard to ignore sports while considering this blog post. Success in sports, Tiger Woods aside, is all about communication in order to create a cohesive, productive, organization of individuals, also known as  teamwork. As usual, the key ingredient resides in the personalities within the group. Oddly, although we usually talk about successful teamwork in terms of role acceptance and compatibility we rarely think about it in terms of contestation. Here’s an excerpt from Elise’s blog post:

“Would forcing members to participate in a certain way (as face-to-face collaborative situations often do) allow us to work together to find a new way of collaborating/editing, or would we just be mimicking a more traditional collaborative process” (Elise Hawthorne). It seems to me that “forcing members to participate in a certain way,” is the very foundation of Democracy and government organization. Often, we think of Democracy as being synonymous with Liberty—but Liberty is about personal freedom.

As a theoretical term, “Democracy” expresses equality, liberty and fraternity, or a responsibility to connect and participate with one another socially (Carl Glickman 3). Equality and liberty are the givens and the parts which everyone knows of and acknowledges, but in saying someone has liberty, or is free in choice, one also says that one is free to ignore others or choice not to participate in the group. Therefore, in order to successfully produce something as a group, we must focus on developing group fraternity, and specifically some group contestation both in class and while editing the google document. Obviously, this contestation should be constructive and productive only.  Having said that, I admit that whistle blowing in a blog post only makes me a hypocrite so I’m going to go work some more on the google document. See you in class.

Philip Petrunak


Glickman, Carl. Revolutionizing American Schools. San Franscisco: Jossey-Gass Publishing, 1998.


~ by philippetrunak on April 5, 2010.

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