The key question is: ‘How does a whole person engage with other whole persons?’
The concept of collaborative learning and collaborative research is based on the idea of working with the other rather than on the other. It is, by its very nature, inquiry-based learning (the precursor of cooperative inquiry) and it is based on a number of underlying assumptions about being with others in a learning (or indeed any other) enterprise:
- How can I help without diminishing your freedom in the process?
- How can I help in such a way that it does not attempt to fix you as if you were a broken mechanism?
- How can I help without hiding behind the role of being a ‘professional’ helper?
- How can I simply be with you where you are?
- How can I help without abstracting you from the context of your being, a vital and inextricable part of the whole world?
- How can I help without seeking some tangible or intangible reward for myself?
Inquiry-based learning is therefore a way of investigating the world as a way of learning about it, and doing it with others.