Exploring Dialogues in Online Collaborative Contexts with Music Teachers and Pre-service Students in Australia
Collaboration is a process that seeks to engage parties with common interests and complementary skills to work co-operatively on some endeavour toward shared understanding, mutually agreed goals, or solutions to a problem. Collaborative learning coincides with cognitive behaviours associated with self-regulation and empathy, but these elements of meta-cognitive behaviour are rarely overtly articulated in the practice studio; therefore they are difficult to study in individual musicians. In developing Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT), Engeström explored factors that influence interpersonal exchanges, such as personalities, abilities and attitudes of peers. The thinking skills that are addressed by Mental Self-Government (MSG) include high-level cognitive processes: recognition and definition of a problem, and applying strategic skills to evaluate, analyse and resolve a problem. Both theoretical approaches, Engeström's CHAT and Sternberg's MSG, are illustrated in the students' references to collaboration, gathered from the interview data.