(Zuhre and her younger sister Ayse are sitting in the living room having a cup of tea whilst discussing school and University work) Ayse: Thank God! It’s nearly Christmas I was sick of all these mock GCSE exams! Zuhre: I don’t even get a break! I have this essay to do but don’t know where to start.... Ayse: You just done one essay didn’t you?
Zuhre: This is another one about how to design better conversational spaces... (Sighs) and I still don’t know how to define a conversational space or a conversation properly! Ayse: A conversation is just two people talking, stupid! (Laughs) Why are you even studying this topic it sounds stupid to me! Zuhre: If only it was that simple! To have a conversation you don’t even have to speak! Conversation is very important in today’s life. A conversation can be seen as a type of exchange, not necessarily needing words. Thanks to Pablo we picture conversation ‘As being the centre of sociality, allowing people to talk and engage with each other, creating a community’.1 It is the key for nearly everything. In work, education, at home or even at shopping communication is essential. We are constantly receiving information through communication… Ayse: How?
Zuhre: Look at what this article says... (She picks up an article from the coffee table and begins to read) ‘Receiving information is essential to our survival, both as individuals and also groups, whether that information is about an immediate threat,furture threats, or information on how to make life easier..’2 Ayse: The importance of conversation is really significant. What different types of communications are there? Zuhre: Chat, conversation, dialogue and Socratic dialogue.
Ayse: What’s the difference between them? They all sound the same to me. Zuhre: There not the same! Wait this article might help me define conversation... (She flicks through the pages and finds the section relating to conversation and begins to read) here it says ‘ It’s an exchange of information with a seasoning of emotion and maybe opinion, and the emotion and opinion are what make it interesting’3, Thanks to Pablo we see ‘Conversation has an aim a bit like a predetermined conclusion’.4 A dialogue is different, more free and open and almost a form of learning, where ideas can be exchanged. (She places the article on the table and picks up another) David Bohm describes a dialogue ‘As a way of observing, collectively, how hidden values and intentions can control human behaviour’.5 Almost like sharing opinions and ideas on a certain matter. Ayse: So like a debate?
Zuhre: Well I wouldn’t say a debate but just like Deborah Tennan explains people today approach everything as a debate which leads to fights and arguments and this is not what conversation should be used for. Pablo’s defines chat as ‘As informal exchange which is unpredictable, interesting but can lead no where’.6 Ayse: Socratic Dialogue?
Zuhre: A Socratic Dialogue….It’s used to ask a set of questions to participants developing their knowledge and understanding on a certain area. There is not necessarily a facilitator but everyone takes turns to ask and answer questions to further their knowledge and understanding… I can’t really explain it… but it’s based more around philosophical discussions Ayse: Socratic Dialogue seems a little complex to me… One question does everyone participating in a conversation have to speak? Zuhre: No not everyone participating has to speak. With the help from Ann Baker we see ‘A conversation can take many forms including; face to face, telephone, written texts, or in cyberspace. Also conversations are a process of interpreting and understanding human experience’.7 Ayse: So is texting a type of conversation?
Zuhre: Yes! (Smiles) I’m glad you understand! A conversation is much more effective than you could ever imagine! A conversation is tied in with trust and an exchange of sharing experiences. Some discussions we had in class covered issues such as people not willing...
Bibliography: Baker, Ann C, (2002), Conversational Learning: An Experiential Approach to Knowledge Creation, United States of America.
Bohm, D. et al (1994), ‘Dialogue – A Proposal’, http://www.david-bohm.net/dialogue/dialogue_proposal.html.
Bohm David, (1996) On Dialogue, New York, Rutledge
Helguera, Pablo, (2011), ‘Conversation’ in Education for Socially Engaged Art, New York, Jorge Pinto Books.
McLeod, Hugh (2007), http://gapingvoid.com/2007/12/31/social-objects-for-beginners/
Simon Nina (2010), The Participatory Museum, Santa Cruz, California,
(2013), Conversation tips, Just why is conversation so important anyway? http://www.conversationtips.org/conversation-tips/conversation-tips-just-why-is-conversation-so-important-anyway
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