Understanding, Fostering, and Supporting Cultures of Participation
The current mind-set about learning, teaching, and education is dominated by a view in which a supposedly all-knowing teacher explicitly tells or shows unknowing, passive learners something they presumably know nothing about. A critical challenge is to reformulate and reconceptualize this impoverished and misleading conception.
A culture-of-participation perspective for learning and education is focused not on delivering predigested information to individuals, but on providing opportunities and resources for learners to engage in authentic activities, participate in social debates and discussions, create shared understanding among diverse stakeholders, and frame and solve personally meaningful problems. It is grounded in the fundamental belief that all humans have interest and knowledge in one or more niche domains and are eager to actively contribute in these contexts.