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Connected: Facilitating Transformative Online Dialogue in Peace-Building, Reconciliation and Global Citizenship Education Programs

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Connected: Facilitating Transformative Online Dialogue in Peace-Building, Reconciliation and Global Citizenship Education Programs

Fournier-Sylvester, Nicole (2016) Connected: Facilitating Transformative Online Dialogue in Peace-Building, Reconciliation and Global Citizenship Education Programs. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Since the 1990s, globally networked learning environments (GNLEs) have emerged as pathways for dialogue, connecting classrooms from around the world. Although it was initially hoped that bringing diverse populations together online would naturally foster the inclusion of disparate voices and viewpoints, it is now widely acknowledged that online communication may just as easily reinforce pre-existing social arrangements as challenge them. Thus, the purpose of this dissertation was to explore how GNLEs developed for civic and peace-building purposes conceptualize dialogue and address power inequalities. Data include multiple case studies grounded in interviews, journal and news articles, and policy and curriculum documents. Data were analyzed using a critical theory framework and a decolonizing global education checklist in order to identify potentially colonizing assumptions behind these programs. Findings from this research suggest that despite some examples of shallow and apolitical approaches to intergroup or intercultural dialogue, there are also many ways that online learning environments can be conducive to facilitating transformative and decolonizing learning experiences.
This dissertation makes ten recommendations for implementing a critical approach to dialogue online. These recommendations include how to frame, structure and facilitate online dialogue through asynchronous forums and videoconferencing. In addition, the recommendations speak to the importance of addressing social and political issues while constructing learning environments that are conducive to the expression of marginalized viewpoints and forms of expression. Recommendations also address how online channels for communication and interaction can be used to address epistemological, linguistic and technological hegemonies often present in global education initiatives. These strategies include, for example, the incorporation of digital imagery and storytelling, as well as wikis that help visualize conflicting narratives and understandings of history. In addition, acknowledging and openly exploring the implications of having a dominant language for communication is necessary as is addressing differential access to technology between groups, including those excluded from online intercultural dialogue opportunities.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Fournier-Sylvester, Nicole
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Educational Studies
Date:2 August 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Waddington, David
Keywords:educational technology; digital citizenship; intergroup; intercultural; dialogue; citizenship education; civic education; civic engagement; digital technology; virtual exchange; global citizenship; peace education; online learning
ID Code:981444
Deposited By: NICOLE FOURNIER SYLVESTER
Deposited On:09 Nov 2016 14:58
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:53
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