Beginning with Trusted Friends: Venturing Out to Work Collaboratively in Our Institutions




Kosnik, Clare
Freese, Anne
Samaras, Anastasia P.

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Aself-study community encourages the sharing of experiences and new insights, both positive and negative. The building of knowledge develops through dialogue in a personal-constructivist-collaborative approach (Beck, Freese, & Kosnik, 2004). Loughran and Northfield (1998) note that the individual perspective may be a significant paradox in self-study terminology. The term, self-study, suggests that the individual is the focus of the study, yet self-study is a collective task (Elijah, 2004; Ham & Kane, 2004). Samaras & Freese (2006) write of this paradox of self-study as both personal and interpersonal. It is as if the community leads (Vygotsky, 1978) or completes (Newman & Holzman, 1993) development. Collaboration does not mean harmony. Interactions may cause the individual to question his/her position or those of others as they develop new understandings. Beyond the cognitive level, self-study scholars have the emotional support of self-study colleagues who are invested in improving learning and teaching through selfstudy. Kosnik, Beck, and Freese (2004) state that an inclusive and equitable self-study community fosters personal and professional growth which impacts program development. LaBoskey (2004) affirms the need for a supportive and interactive community in the knowledge building process. This paper addresses the impact of our collaborative experiences in the self-study community. We discuss how it has supported and influenced our personal and professional thinking as well as our work in our home institutions.



Collaboration, Education, Self-study