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The reproduction of historical relations in the crosscultural classroom at university.

This paper is based on research conducted with indigenous students at a university in the Northern Territory. It examines crosscultural theories of education which explain the problems of teaching and learning in indigenous contexts in terms of the cultural mismatch mismatch

1. in blood transfusions and transplantation immunology, an incompatibility between potential donor and recipient.

2. one or more nucleotides in one of the double strands in a nucleic acid molecule without complementary nucleotides in the same position on the other
 between the home and school environment These theories position the teacher as the condition of knowledge and learning in so far as he or she is responsible for transmitting the knowledge and skills to students. The teacher's methodology becomes the means through which students learn. But in the context of indigenous education, in positioning indigenous students in relation to a non-indigenous teacher's methodology, crosscultural theories of education unconsciously perpetuate per·pet·u·ate  
tr.v. per·pet·u·at·ed, per·pet·u·at·ing, per·pet·u·ates
1. To cause to continue indefinitely; make perpetual.

 an unequal historical relation in the university classroom. I conclude that good teaching and learning at university are not only a consequence of a good methodology but the product of an unconscious influence of the teacher's sty/e upon the student; the crucial factor that brings the two together is how the pedagogue speaks.

Introduction: Crosscultural theories of indigenous education Over the last 30 years or so, the production of knowledge and learning in indigenous classrooms has been explained historically in terms of the cultural differences between the indigenous students and their non-indigenous teacher. Theorists in crosscultural education have taken the position that students from different cultural backgrounds have different ways of processing and producing knowledge, and they are motivated mo·ti·vate  
tr.v. mo·ti·vat·ed, mo·ti·vat·ing, mo·ti·vates
To provide with an incentive; move to action; impel.

 by a different set of rules. For example, Christie (1984) explained, at the time of his research, that the learning processes at work as Aboriginal children at Milingimbi, Northern Territory grow are determined by the methods of socialisation their people employ and their view of the world. Malin (1989) followed in Christie's footsteps to find that the Aboriginal children's worldview world·view  
n. In both senses also called Weltanschauung.
1. The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.

2. A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group.
 disadvantages them in the classroom, and Fludspith (1996) replicated Malin's methodology to conclude from her research that the social and cultural practices which Aboriginal children learn at home do not fit with the assumptions and expectations of the classroom teacher. In summary, crosscultural theories of education explain the problems of teaching and learning in indigenous contexts in terms of the cultural mismatch between the home and school environment. (1)

Crosscultural theories of teaching and learning also position the teacher as the condition of knowledge and learning in so far as he or she is responsible for transmitting the knowledge and skills to students. The methodology becomes the means through which students learn and so the teachers focus on developing good teaching methods in classrooms containing students from a diversity of backgrounds (e.g. see Eckermann, 1994; Matin mat·in   also mat·in·al
Of or relating to matins or to the early part of the day.

[Middle English, from Old French, sing. of matines, matins; see matins.]
, 1998; Rose, Gray, & Cowey, 1999). This paper begins by examining the search for good teaching methodologies in the crosscultural classroom (2) and, in particular, some of the literature is reviewed in crosscultural education, to find out how indigenous students learn these methodologies at university. By investigating how a non-indigenous teacher can account for the unequal power relations in his or her classroom practice, some insight into this dilemma is gained through the two selections of interview data presented in this paper? The data are important not only because they provide practical insights (see below) into learning and teaching in indigenous higher education higher education

Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art.
, they also raise questions which could not be answered by the current theories in crosscultural education, questions which led me to investigate psychoanalytic theories Psychoanalytic theory is a general term for approaches to psychoanalysis which attempt to provide a conceptual framework more-or-less independent of clinical practice rather than based on empirical analysis of clinical cases.  of education, including the work of Britzman (1998) and Salecl (1994).

How can indigenous students learn through a methodology?

Murray (1995), Hudspith (1996), Malin (1998) and Rose et al. (1999) draw on the theories of Vygotsky to show how the student can learn from the teacher in the crosscultural classroom. Vygotsky referred to the space between what the teacher knows and what the student must learn as a 'zone of proximal proximal /prox·i·mal/ (-mil) nearest to a point of reference, as to a center or median line or to the point of attachment or origin.

 development' (Rose et al., 1999, p. 3t). He proposed that learning is produced through a relation where the teacher provides the student with hints and props prop 1  
1. An object placed beneath or against a structure to keep it from falling or shaking; a support.

2. One that serves as a means of support or assistance.

 which guide the student's learning until it can be applied by the student in his or her own way (Bruner, 1986). Students could be helped to learn through 'shared learning activities' and to produce common knowledge together (Malin, 1998; Murray, 1995).

In a succinct suc·cinct  
adj. suc·cinct·er, suc·cinct·est
1. Characterized by clear, precise expression in few words; concise and terse: a succinct reply; a succinct style.

 summary of the different models of instruction that are used in indigenous classrooms, Malin (1998) observes that, as teachers, we often expect students to learn simply by giving them worksheets and assuming that they will learn by reading it or by completing the set activities. But Murray (1995) argues that students must be taught how to learn in a school context, and specifically how to use English for further learning in order to create more active learning on behalf of the student. For Michaels (1995) it is not enough to give students books to read, questions to answer, topics to talk about and assignments to complete or maths problems to solve. The teacher's job is to devise ways that can 'direct and develop complex reasoning in the learner' to solve his or her own problems (Michaels, 1995, p. 22). He or she guides, models and scaffolds students in the particular ways of thinking, gives explanations, constructs arguments, and asks questions relevant to the context of learning (Michaels, 1995).


Through guiding and scaffolding, the student in crosscultural theories of learning not only learns to imitate im·i·tate  
tr.v. im·i·tat·ed, im·i·tat·ing, im·i·tates
1. To use or follow as a model.

 and repeat the structure of classroom dialogue, but also to anticipate the kind of answers the teacher might want as the dialogue progresses (Malin, 1998). The teacher helps the students put into words an explicit description of what they are doing together in the classroom (Cazden, 1988; Rose et al., 1999). He or she gives the student a 'helping hand', then only a finger, and then he or she withdraws that few inches until the students are competent to perform the learning task on their own (Cazden, 1988).

Learning and teaching through scaffolding has become a popular methodological technique for teaching students how to analyse an·a·lyse  
v. Chiefly British
Variant of analyze.

analyse or US -lyze

[-lysing, -lysed] or -lyzing,
 and critique texts. Teachers have recognised that students should be able to observe how the knowledge is constructed in the classroom so that the conditions of knowledge are explicit to students (Hudspith, 1996). They should be able to follow where the ideas and positions in a classroom text come from and how they are linked together through particular techniques. It is assumed that methods like scaffolding help students to learn the teacher's knowledge so that they can apply it to other contexts. The student is then able to apply the teachers' cognitive structures or methods to read, analyse and interpret new texts or to solve problems in new situations. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 the theory of scaffolding, the students learn more than the teacher's knowledge; they learn how to learn so that once the methods are constituted in their mind, they will be able to learn independently of the teacher.

However Searle (1984) notes that, although the teacher helps the student to talk about an experience, what the student says and does is structured according to the teacher's view of what is relevant to the intended learning outcome. Through a sequence of questions and evaluations, the process of scaffolding directs the students towards a predetermined pre·de·ter·mine  
v. pre·de·ter·mined, pre·de·ter·min·ing, pre·de·ter·mines
1. To determine, decide, or establish in advance:
, fixed cognitive destination where the student is constituted as responsible for working out the teacher's plans and intentions (Searle, 1984). The student's own way of thinking and knowing is structured within the framework of the teachers' methodology, which prompts Searle (1984) to ask: 'Who's building whose building?'. Students learn to reproduce re·pro·duce
1. To produce a counterpart, an image, or a copy of something.

2. To bring something to mind again.

3. To generate offspring by sexual or asexual means.
 the teacher's knowledge as they learn to repeat the teacher's way of talking and writing about that knowledge. Although scaffolding should teach the student to learn independently of the teacher, Gee (1995) observes, 'I can offer no definitive answers' (p. 24) as to how the student learns other than the lecturer's way of knowing. Knowledge and the ways of producing it are always closely linked. But what does this mean for indigenous students in particular, who learn through a non-indigenous teacher at university?

How do indigenous students learn through the non-indigenous teacher at university?

In the absence of research conducted into the learning and teaching methodologies employed in indigenous higher education, I have relied mainly on school-based research to examine the theories of crosscultural education. Some general research is also available that outlines the failure of indigenous education at university (see Abdullah & Stringer string·er  
1. One that strings: a stringer of beads.

2. Architecture
a. A long heavy horizontal timber used as a support or connector.

b. A stringboard.
, 1997; Bin-Sallik, 1994; Bourke, Burden, & Moore, 1996; Kemmis, 1997a, 1997b;Walker, 1998).4 This study therefore attempts to find out how indigenous students actually learn through a non-indigenous particular behaviour, and finally to a response that takes into consideration moral rules. In the transcripts we analysed, no pupil reflected about ethical principles, which is assumed to be more complex than the preceding. With regard to form, responsible thinking is manifested in the statement of the response, then in the attempt to understand peer behaviour or moral rules, and finally in doubt about these behaviours and rules. No proposition pertaining per·tain  
intr.v. per·tained, per·tain·ing, per·tains
1. To have reference; relate: evidence that pertains to the accident.

 to an engagement in the modification of behaviours or rules was noted.

Meta-cognitive thinking means reflecting about oneself's or another's thoughts, rather than simply engaging in the discussion. It means not only being conscious of one's perspectives and beliefs, but also exercising control over the group's thoughts. In dialogue, meta-cognitive thinking appears when pupils explicitly mention a peer contribution, are aware of peer thinking skills, use peer perspectives to modify their own, etc. Meta-cognitive thinking gains in complexity, in its content, starting from a centring on one's own points of view, then moving on through the comprehension comprehension

Act of or capacity for grasping with the intellect. The term is most often used in connection with tests of reading skills and language abilities, though other abilities (e.g., mathematical reasoning) may also be examined.
 of others' points of view, which may lead to correction, and finally to the acknowledgement of a perspective enriched via the group discussion. In its form, the increasing complexity of meta-cognitive thinking is manifested as follows: statement (which is a simple unit), description (which is partly abstract, partly concrete), explanation (which is reasonably abstract and elaborated) and argument (conceptual complex analysis).This last manifestation man·i·fes·ta·tion
An indication of the existence, reality, or presence of something, especially an illness.

 was not observed in our transcripts.

The increasing complexity of the four modes of thinking is connected to three epistemological e·pis·te·mol·o·gy  
The branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, its presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity.

[Greek epist
 levels (egocentricity e·go·cen·tric  
1. Holding the view that the ego is the center, object, and norm of all experience.

a. Confined in attitude or interest to one's own needs or affairs.

, relativism relativism

Any view that maintains that the truth or falsity of statements of a certain class depends on the person making the statement or upon his circumstances or society. Historically the most prevalent form of relativism has been See also ethical relativism.
 and inter-subjectivity oriented o·ri·ent  
1. Orient The countries of Asia, especially of eastern Asia.

a. The luster characteristic of a pearl of high quality.

b. A pearl having exceptional luster.

 towards meaning) that emerged from the analysis of the twenty-four transcripts of pupils from the three cultural backgrounds--the fourth level (inter-subjectivity oriented towards constructed knowledge) was not noted in the transcripts; it is simply a theoretical extrapolation (mathematics, algorithm) extrapolation - A mathematical procedure which estimates values of a function for certain desired inputs given values for known inputs.

If the desired input is outside the range of the known values this is called extrapolation, if it is inside then
 which remains to be verified.

The egocentric egocentric /ego·cen·tric/ (-sen´trik) self-centered; preoccupied with one's own interests and needs; lacking concern for others.

 perspective seems to be the most spontaneous for the pupils, as their beliefs, opinions and interests are linked to concrete observation or anchored in those of the adults that surround them (parents, teachers, media, etc.). At this point, the pupils are not aware that they can formulate formulate /for·mu·late/ (for´mu-lat)
1. to state in the form of a formula.

2. to prepare in accordance with a prescribed or specified method.
 their own judgements and act according to them. They spontaneously believe there exists only one vision of the world--the one that they were taught and that they master--and as evidence is so plausible, it is unnecessary to justify it. Egocentricity is manifested in exchanges of anecdotal anecdotal /an·ec·do·tal/ (an?ek-do´t'l) based on case histories rather than on controlled clinical trials.
anecdotal adjective Unsubstantiated; occurring as single or isolated event.
 and monological types (see Daniel et al., 2002).

The relativistic rel·a·tiv·is·tic  
1. Of or relating to relativism.

2. Physics
a. Of, relating to, or resulting from speeds approaching the speed of light: relativistic increase in mass.
 perspective is illustrated in a non-critical or semi-critical dialogue (see Daniel et al., 2002), when pupils make well-thought-out judgements with regard to the problem to be solved, but do not doubt what they have acquired, do not question the validity of their peers' statements, and present their own statements as final or 'closed' conclusions. The exchange denotes decentring in relation to the object and in relation to oneself; beliefs are no longer conjugated conjugated

estrogens, conjugated Warning - Hazardous drug!

 in the singular SINGULAR, construction. In grammar the singular is used to express only one, not plural. Johnson.
     2. In law, the singular frequently includes the plural.
, but rather in the plural form Noun 1. plural form - the form of a word that is used to denote more than one

relation - (usually plural) mutual dealings or connections among persons or groups; "international relations"
; 'truth' is modifiable according to context; each person has a point of view of their own; for pupils, justification is not considered as absolutely necessary and is formulated for·mu·late  
tr.v. for·mu·lat·ed, for·mu·lat·ing, for·mu·lates
a. To state as or reduce to a formula.

b. To express in systematic terms or concepts.

 only under the teacher's stimulation. The exchange indicates a capacity to link the senses' concrete observations to abstractions in the form of reasoning. Also, the sole objective of justification seems to be proving that one's opinion is better than that of one's peers. Relativism is relatively accessible to pupils aged 10 to 12.

The perspective linked to inter-subjectivity oriented towards meaning is the concern for exchange and negotiation among peers, which generates critical dialogue (see Daniel et al., 2002). At this level, the pupils have integrated conceptualisation (artificial intelligence) conceptualisation - The collection of objects, concepts and other entities that are assumed to exist in some area of interest and the relationships that hold among them. , transformation, categorisation and correction. Also, they have integrated the principles of what we call the 'community of inquiry' (Splitter & Sharp, 1995). They are capable of evaluation (of themselves, the community of inquiry, society, mankind MANKIND. Persons of the male sex; but in a more general sense, it includes persons of both sexes; for example, the statute of 25 Hen. VIII., c. 6, makes it felony to commit, sodomy with mankind or beast. Females as well as males axe included under the term mankind. Fortesc. 91; Bac. Ab. ) with improvement in mind. The justifications they provide originate in Verb 1. originate in - come from
stem - grow out of, have roots in, originate in; "The increase in the national debt stems from the last war"
 reasoning and reflection. Their statements are more often manifested as hypotheses than as conclusions; thus individual knowledge seems uncertain and, as such, this knowledge develops from the groups' diversified diversified (di·verˑ·s  viewpoints. Criticism is frequent and manifests itself in different ways (nuances, counter-examples, questions, oppositions, etc.); criticism is not destructive, but seems to be elaborated in order to contribute to the enrichment enrichment Food industry The addition of vitamins or minerals to a food–eg, wheat, which may have been lost during processing. See White flour; Cf Whole grains.  of the community of inquiry. The pupils seem to be aware that their points of view are temporary, and that dialogue is an open process. This perspective does not spontaneously appear in pupils aged 10 to 12; it requires a well-sustained philosophical praxis prax·is  
n. pl. prax·es
1. Practical application or exercise of a branch of learning.

2. Habitual or established practice; custom.
, both in frequency and in time, as shown by the examples of the Mexican and Australian school groups, which have been committed to using the P4C P4C Philosophy for Children (educational movement)
P4C Page Four Color
 approach for, respectively, two and five years.

From the preceding analysis, we infer that the fourth epistemological level (which was not manifested by the groups of pupils studied) would also be anchored in inter-subjectivity, except that the latter would be oriented towards knowledge. Knowledge is not seen here as an en-soi to be transmitted, but as a social construction, integrated in a particular context, and open to refinement; the same is true of theories that are not perceived as truths, but as models approximately reflecting the world. At this level, personal experience and theoretical knowledge (external) are interrelated in·ter·re·late  
tr. & intr.v. in·ter·re·lat·ed, in·ter·re·lat·ing, in·ter·re·lates
To place in or come into mutual relationship.

, and empower empower verb To encourage or provide a person with the means or information to become involved in solving his/her own problems  the individual actively to contribute to improvement of the social experience.

Analysis of transcripts

To demonstrate the components of dialogical di·a·log·ic   also di·a·log·i·cal
Of, relating to, or written in dialogue.

 critical thinking as manifested by some groups of pupils participating in our research project, we will use the transcript A generic term for any kind of copy, particularly an official or certified representation of the record of what took place in a court during a trial or other legal proceeding.

A transcript of record
 of an exchange among Australian pupils. As discourse is the concrete manifestation of thought, we will be able to determine, by analysing the critical dialogue, the characteristics of dialogical critical thinking.

In a subsequent section, in order to validate To prove something to be sound or logical. Also to certify conformance to a standard. Contrast with "verify," which means to prove something to be correct.

For example, data entry validity checking determines whether the data make sense (numbers fall within a range, numeric data
 the characteristics that emerge from this analysis, we will present an analysis of additional Australian transcripts reflecting, respectively, monological exchange and semi-critical dialogue.

The grid applied to critical dialogue

Logical thinking

Within the transcript illustrating critical dialogue, the Australian pupils reflected on the common question: Is there a hierarchy between humans and animals? Within this transcript, we observe that interventions illustrating logical thinking are the most frequent compared with other modes of thinking. At the content level, this mode of thinking is especially illustrated in perspective 3.
   Well, I think it comes down like to what it usually comes down in
   any philosophy discussion. It depends what you're talking about,
   the overall or whether you're talking about if it's humans in
   their inventive way or in their instinctive way. And I think that
   humans in their inventive way are smarter than other animals. But
   also, they might not be. To other animals, we wouldn't be because
   the other animals make what they need, not what they want, so ...

   I put them at least like fourth or third or maybe second because
   they're just ... I don't think we deserve to go at the top for what
   we've done to all those animals and how we've had wars. And like
   animals don't care, I mean they have wars sometimes but it's when
   they need to be in the higher group to be respected more. They just
   get what they need, I mean they don't get clothes and shops ... So I
   think that animals are a higher level than humans but they respect
   other people and we tend to be selfish.

Within this perspective, pupils are engaged in conceptualisation; their judgement is abstract and stems from reasoning, without being based on concrete or academic experience as is the case for perspective 2, which in this transcript was also frequently used by the group.
   If the clothes weren't invented I think we would have been fine.
   Everyone just wants to be sort of standing out in a group. Everyone
   is seen in places, you know shops and they've got all these clothes
   and make-up and stuff. We don't really need that. We're fine
   without clothes and we need clothes at certain temperatures, but
   just make-up and stuff that we don't really need.

We did not note any intervention based essentially on sensory sensory /sen·so·ry/ (sen´sor-e) pertaining to sensation.

1. Of or relating to the senses or sensation.

 observation (perspective 1) or complex reasoning (perspective 4).

With regard to form, perspective 3 largely dominates the group's discourse, in that the majority of pupil interventions are spontaneously justified by the pupils; these justifications are complete but remain simple.
   If dolphins were that smart we'd almost be depending on them. That's
   what most people are saying. If dolphins are as smart as humans then
   we'd almost be depending on them because a lot of dolphins depend on
   us. But the only reason they depend on us now is because we made
   them need to depend on us because if we hadn't done what we have to
   the world, then they wouldn't, yes they'd be domestic and they
   wouldn't need us.

Perspective 4, presupposing the use of arguments in due form (modus ponens In logic, modus ponendo ponens (Latin: mode that affirms by affirming; often abbreviated MP) is a valid, simple argument form. It is a very common rule of inference, and takes the following form:

If P, then Q.
), does not characterise Verb 1. characterise - be characteristic of; "What characterizes a Venetian painting?"

differentiate, distinguish, mark - be a distinctive feature, attribute, or trait; sometimes in a very positive sense; "His modesty distinguishes him from his
 the group, although some individuals use it implicitly.

Creative thinking

Creative thinking is very evident in this Australian transcript reflecting a critical dialogue. Indeed almost all the interventions are marked not just by the logical mode, but also by the creative mode. At the content level, creative thinking is manifest manifest 1) adj., adv. completely obvious or evident. 2) n. a written list of goods in a shipment.

MANIFEST, com. law. A written instrument containing a true account of the cargo of a ship or commercial vessel.
 in perspective 2, particularly in examples related to giving meaning to a viewpoint.
   I reckon we make things more that we need. Like if you look in the
   supermarket, you could go down one aisle and everything you'd need
   will be in there and there'd be no choices. There'd just be
   everything you need in there. Fresh fruit and vegetables, meat,
   water, and that's basically all you need.

However creative thinking is mostly noted when presenting a different or opposite point of view that contributes to a transformation of perspectives (perspective 3).
   P1: I think that humans are the only ones that can do math. We use
   it to understand things. To well everything we've got to make a
   reason why. So we invented maths to explain it. But the animals they
   just think and they don't really think about, because they've got
   one main instinct which is eat and reproduce.

   P2: [I don't agree because] it's our maths, it's not theirs and we
   don't have a sit-down classroom with animals how we teach them our
   ways. They've got their own ways. And people just think they're
   dumb because they don't know our ways, but they probably think we're
   dumb, if they do think.

If the pupils are capable of elaborating an original or divergent di·ver·gent  
1. Drawing apart from a common point; diverging.

2. Departing from convention.

3. Differing from another: a divergent opinion.

 meaning, they did not dwell on dwell on or upon

to think, speak, or write at length about (something)

Verb 1. dwell on - delay
linger over
 the correspondence between the diversity of viewpoints or meanings (perspective 4).

At the level of form, creative thinking is also manifest in the contextualisation of the meaning proposed (perspective 2):
   If dolphins are as smart as humans then we'd almost be depending on
   them because a lot of dolphins depend on us. But the only reason
   they depend on us now is because we made them need to depend on us
   because if we hadn't done what we have to the world, then they
   wouldn't, yes they'd be domestic and they wouldn't need us.

   And in perspective 3, where it expresses doubt, ambivalence or

   I think that humans in their inventive way are smarter than other
   animals. But also, they might not be. To other animals, we wouldn't
   be because the other animals make what they need, not what they
   want, so ...

Also, at perspective 4, we did not observe any manifestations of creative thinking, which implies reflection on complex relationships, where creative thinking transforms meanings and improves them.

Responsible thinking

In this transcript, responsible thinking is explicitly expressed by the pupils. At the level of content, we noted a few answers related to perspective 2--particular moral behaviours.
   Like in World War II, well you know Hider, he was killing lots of
   ... Jewish people and had to be stopped. Even though lots of people
   died, we really needed to stop him.

Nevertheless this transcript is characterised by perspective 3, when the pupils' answers, reflecting a capability for categorisation, are related to moral rules:
   What we've done to other people and animals that makes us a lower
   grade, because animals can learn to live in a group and we're
   learning but we still haven't finished it, we're still having

The explicit manifestation of a reflection on ethical principles (perspective 4) was not noted in this transcript.

At the level of form, various interventions reflect a desire to understand human or animal behaviours (perspective 2); however the majority of these interventions are formulated from a perspective of evaluating human behaviours (perspective 3).
   I think 'also humans are just appearance ... we need clothes at
   certain temperatures, but just make-up and stuff: that we don't
   really need.

With questioning being so present, we might have expected the pupils to reach perspective 4, giving them the opportunity to engage in a change of behaviour; however none of the interventions went in this direction.

Meta-cognitive thinking

Finally we observed meta-cognitive thinking in the Australian transcript, reflecting a critical dialogue. Meta-cognitive thinking, at the content level, is present to the extent that the pupils explicitly demonstrated that they are aware (perspective 2) of the tasks previously performed in philosophy class by verbalising its implications.

(Well, I think it comes down like to what it usually comes down in any philosophy discussion. It depends what you're talking about ...) and aware of points of view expressed by their peers, by naming them explicitly (I agree with P1 because ...). Nevertheless this group of pupils is situated at perspective 3--that is, correction: they mention their disagreement with a peer's point of view (I disagree with Verb 1. disagree with - not be very easily digestible; "Spicy food disagrees with some people"
hurt - give trouble or pain to; "This exercise will hurt your back"
 P1 because they add a precision or a nuance nu·ance  
1. A subtle or slight degree of difference, as in meaning, feeling, or tone; a gradation.

2. Expression or appreciation of subtle shades of meaning, feeling, or tone:
 to a statement with 'but if ...' sentences (P1 said that he doesn't think we could live without television and stuff, but if we didn't have it we wouldn't know about it); they also (but rarely) modify their point of view or perspective (self-correcting) while talking (And I think that humans in their inventive in·ven·tive  
1. Of, relating to, or characterized by invention.

2. Adept or skillful at inventing; creative.

 way are smarter than other animals. But also, they might not be. To other animals, we wouldn't be because ...) or by listening to peers (P1: I think, I sort of changed my mind. I sort of agree with P2). The pupils in the group do not speak about their treatment of these viewpoints (perspective 4). They do not express the progress between getting an idea and formulating a viewpoint.

At the level of form, meta-cognitive thinking is expressed in the simple statement (perspective 1) of the pupil's name he or she refers to (I agree with P1 and I ...). Mainly meta-cognitive thinking reflects an effort to justify the reference to the other by a rather concrete and brief description (perspective 2) (I disagree with P1 when he said they (animals) don't build things. They build nests, they build burrows Burrows is a provincial electoral division in the Canadian province of Manitoba. It was created by redistribution in 1957, and formally came into existence in the provincial election of 1958. The riding is located in the northern part of Winnipeg. , they have got to work out how to build them, that's not really easy) and by a more complex and abstract act, which we call explanation/ evaluation (perspective 3), which is sometimes manifested as a synthesis of peer perspectives:
   I agree with P1 and P2, well sort of. if I had to rank any the
   animals in a higher order or whatever, I think I'd put humans on the
   top as well because well we build things, animals don't, yes they
   just rely on instinct. Animals don't know what English is, animals
   don't know what maths is or anything. They just do what they're
   meant to do, really ... Animals just eat. Like a fox. He goes out
   hunting maybe once every night as a ... daily, but we go to the
   supermarket whenever we want. We usually do whatever we want because
   we've got better resources for it and we've created more things.
   It's just our brain power is larger. I don't know if it is but I
   think that our brain power is larger.

   No one carried on a formal argument (perspective 4).


In this sample transcript, dialogical critical thinking is manifested according to the following constituent elements elements which were corroborated cor·rob·o·rate  
tr.v. cor·rob·o·rat·ed, cor·rob·o·rat·ing, cor·rob·o·rates
To strengthen or support with other evidence; make more certain. See Synonyms at confirm.
 by analyses of the Mexican and Quebec transcripts: Thinking is multi-modal, in that almost all the cognitive modes are present in each pupil intervention, giving it a definitely complex nature.

High-level logical thinking (Content: 3 and Form: 3) constitutes the basis of the exchange, which is to say that pupils base their interventions on reasoning, and that these interventions are spontaneously justified. From the epistemological perspective, inter-subjectivity oriented towards meaning predominates.

Creative thinking (Content: 3 and Form: 2 and 3) is also present in the majority of interventions, either through examples (search for meaning), or through nuances, or counter-examples (divergence divergence

In mathematics, a differential operator applied to a three-dimensional vector-valued function. The result is a function that describes a rate of change. The divergence of a vector v is given by
) which are stated or used in order to question. From the epistemological perspective, creative thinking--that is, thinking that is inter-subjective in content overlaps both relativism and inter-subjectivity oriented towards meaning in form.

Responsible thinking (Content: 3 and Form: 3) is mostly manifested through abstract answers related to moral rules, answers that typically question the application of these rules by human beings. From the epistemological perspective, responsible thinking reflects mainly inter-subjectivity oriented towards meaning.

Meta-cognitive thinking (Content: 3 and Form: 2 and 3) is also very characteristic of most of the interventions. This type of thinking is manifested through precision, nuance and group-correction, which is not only stated, but also described and explained. Here meta-cognitive thinking reflects relativism and inter-subjectivity oriented towards meaning.

The grid applied to a monological exchange

To compare these characteristics with those used in an exchange that was not of a dialogical-critical type, we analysed, using the same grid, exchanges that we consider to be monological in the Australian, Mexican and Quebec groups Que`bec´ group`

1. (Geol.) The middle of the three groups into which the rocks of the Canadian period have been divided in the American Lower Silurian system. See the Chart of Geology.
 of pupils.

Analysis of all of the transcripts illustrating monological exchanges reveals that the interventions of the pupils are uni-modal, which is to say that they comprise a single thinking mode per intervention, this mode being essentially related to perspective 1 of logical thinking with regard to content as well as to form. The other thinking modes (creative, responsible and meta-cognitive) did not emerge sufficiently to be considered in our analysis. From this perspective, the pupils refer primarily to observation and what is concrete to present their viewpoint, which they are unable to justify spontaneously. The monological group, on the other hand, is situated epistemologically in the first perspective, which is egocentricity (see Daniel et al., 2002).

The grid applied to a semi-critical dialogue

Finally, in order to complete the comparison and to highlight the characteristics of critical dialogue, we analysed exchanges that we qualify as semi-critical dialogue. Analysis of the transcripts reveals use of the following thinking modes: thinking is sometimes stated in a multi-modal manner, in that a single intervention often employs two or even three modes of thinking to express itself and, at other times, in a uni-modal manner. The exchanges do not display any regularity in this respect. Logical thinking (Content: 2 and Form: 2) starts to become abstract and conscious of the necessity to justify beliefs. Creative thinking (Content: 2 and Form: 2) is still mostly a searching for convergent meaning, rather than a divergence; it contextualises more than it evaluates the context. Meta-cognitive thinking (Content: 2 and Form: 2) is necessarily a part of the exchange if the exchange is dialogical, but is not always so in an explicit manner. Responsible thinking (Content: 2 and Form: 2) does not characterise the exchange. From the epistemological perspective, semi-critical dialogue is characterised by relativism and a few traces of egocentricity, especially in the expression of logical thinking (see Daniel et al., 2002).


From our analysis of twenty-four transcripts representing the eight groups of Australian, Mexican and Quebec pupils participating in our research project, the following distinction between semi-critical dialogue and monological exchange stands out: in a dialogical exchange, pupils turn to using various thinking modes (multi-modal) to express themselves, whereas in a monological exchange, logical thinking suffices (uni-modal). The epistemological framework also brings out the fact that, in the first type of exchange, the group is relativistic whereas, in the second, the group is egocentric. The distinction therefore resides in the kind of exchanges.

The resemblance Resemblance may refer to:
  • Resemblance: as in "you have a resemblance to your brother" (In the case of twins) see analogy and similarity.
  • Resemblance nominalism
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein's family resemblances.
 between a critical and a semi-critical dialogue essentially resides in the fact that both presuppose pre·sup·pose  
tr.v. pre·sup·posed, pre·sup·pos·ing, pre·sup·pos·es
1. To believe or suppose in advance.

2. To require or involve necessarily as an antecedent condition. See Synonyms at presume.
 multi-modal thinking, but to different degrees and with different frequencies. However critical dialogue presupposes thinking that is more complex and varied than in semi-critical dialogue. The distinction between critical and semi-critical dialogue is situated in the epistemological perspectives; in other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently
, critical dialogue presupposes the introduction of inter-subjectivity, whereas semi-critical dialogue is squarely square·ly  
1. Mathematics At right angles: sawed the beam squarely.

2. In a square shape.

 anchored in relativism.

The definition of dialogical critical thinking that emerges from the transcripts relates to the following components:

* multi-modal thinking, where various modes of higher-order thinking Higher-order thinking is a fundamental concept of Education reform based on Bloom's Taxonomy. Rather than simply teaching recall of facts, students will be taught reasoning and processes, and be better lifelong learners.  are necessary to establish a point of view;

* logical thinking motivated by the analysis of concepts, which is based on reasoning and supported by a spontaneous and complete justification;

* creative thinking that attempts to distance itself from a first-degree search for meaning, and which works on the transformation of meanings--which is stated and which contextualises, but which also, and mainly, doubts, questions, transforms;

* responsible thinking which is not only capable of de-centring, but also of adopting a standpoint on behaviours (particular acts) and moral rules (categorisation of the latter); a standpoint that is expressed in a quest for Verb 1. quest for - go in search of or hunt for; "pursue a hobby"
quest after, go after, pursue

look for, search, seek - try to locate or discover, or try to establish the existence of; "The police are searching for clues"; "They are searching for the
 understanding and, mostly, in evaluation of these behaviours and rules;

* meta-cognitive thinking which is not only aware of one's own and one's peers' contributions, but which also works at its correction and which knows how to describe and explain itself;

* the epistemological perspective which corresponds to dialogical critical thinking and is inter-subjectivity oriented towards meaning with regard to content and form.

With regard to the definition proposed by Lipman, our analyses reveal that critical thinking does not occur in the singular, but rather comprises various thinking modes. In other words, it appears that dialogical critical thinking presupposes logical, creative, responsible and meta-cognitive thinking. It is the result of using the totality TOTALITY. The whole sum or quantity.
     2. In making a tender, it is requisite that the totality of the sum due should be offered, together with the interest and costs. Vide Tender.
 of these cognitive modes that represents critical thinking as it is manifested in pupils aged 10 to 12 during dialogue.

Thus logical thinking is the basis of any exchange (whether it be monological or dialogical); pupils come to formulate judgements mainly by using logical thinking.

Meta-cognitive thinking is the condition for dialogue since, if the meaning of the others' interventions are not understood, one cannot build on these interventions to stimulate the dialogue. Also, without meta-coguitive thinking, critical dialogue cannot take place, and improvement, precision and nuance in short, correction cannot manifest themselves.

On one hand, the manifestation of creative thinking in the discourse transforms the exchange from monological to dialogical and, on the other hand, it is related to the transcending of relativism and to the introduction of intersubjectivity Intersubjectivity is something which is shared by two or more subjectivites.

The term is used in three ways.
  1. Firstly, in its weakest sense it is used to refer to agreement.
. Our postulate postulate: see axiom.  is to the effect that the more the dialogue is critical, the more it becomes necessary to resort to creative thinking. Indeed critical dialogue is defined by a series of creative actions (divergence, doubt, questioning, opposition, etc.) which stimulate the pupils to: (a) listen and understand the points of view presented by their peers; (b) show imagination in order to enter a frame of reference that is not theirs (different or opposed); (c) use criteria to evaluate and compare the validity of each frame of reference elaborated by the community of inquiry; and (d) choose and justify the frame of reference that seems the most significant. Furthermore creative thinking is manifest in the contribution of divergent meanings or original and unexpected viewpoints which cause cognitive conflicts and, in so doing, engage the reflective Refers to light hitting an opaque surface such as a printed page or mirror and bouncing back. See reflective media and reflective LCD.  process among peers. If criticism, doubt and questioning are essential to critical dialogue, it follows that the equilibrium between contesting and respect of differences is fundamental in order for the exchange to preserve its dialogical (vs. rhetorical rhe·tor·i·cal  
1. Of or relating to rhetoric.

2. Characterized by overelaborate or bombastic rhetoric.

3. Used for persuasive effect: a speech punctuated by rhetorical pauses.
) character. This implies that equilibrium is necessary between systematic rejection of statements and rejection of naive relativism, where each viewpoint is acceptable. Equilibrium finds its manifestation in the development of responsible thinking.

Indeed analysis of the transcripts clearly shows that the more the exchange is of a dialogical critical nature, the more manifest the pupils' responsibility towards behaviour and moral rules. Concurrently, when egocentricity prevails as epistemology epistemology (ĭpĭs'təmŏl`əjē) [Gr.,=knowledge or science], the branch of philosophy that is directed toward theories of the sources, nature, and limits of knowledge. Since the 17th cent. , there is a complete absence of responsible thinking in the transcripts.

Also, from critical dialogue, the following categories emerged: conceptualisation, transformation, categorisation and correction--conceptualisation issuing from logical thinking; transformation from creative thinking; categorisation from responsible thinking; and correction from meta-coguitive thinking. The Lipmanian definition emphasises the following categories: conceptualisation, reasoning, generalisation Noun 1. generalisation - an idea or conclusion having general application; "he spoke in broad generalities"
generality, generalization

idea, thought - the content of cognition; the main thing you are thinking about; "it was not a good idea"; "the thought
 and research. These, except for the latter which represents a general category relating to relating to relate prepconcernant

relating to relate prepbezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc 
 the process of inquiry itself, are related to logical thinking.

Lipman defines critical thinking according to the following criteria: sensitive to context, governed by criteria and self-correcting. In the reality of the classroom, on the other hand, during an exchange among pupils considered to be 'critical dialogue', these criteria did not emerge. First, our study indicates that sensitivity to context (perspective 2 of creative thinking in our grid) is not sufficient to bring the pupils to critical thinking; the only sensitivity manifested is in contextualising, and in an attempt to find an appropriate meaning. In fact, evaluating, questioning and proposing divergent and original meanings (perspective 3) contribute the most to creating cognitive conflicts in peers and, in so doing, impede im·pede  
tr.v. im·ped·ed, im·ped·ing, im·pedes
To retard or obstruct the progress of. See Synonyms at hinder1.

[Latin imped
 their progress towards more complex reflection.

Secondly, if thinking is governed by criteria, it will be strict, pertinent and logical. In fact, logical thinking, taken alone, although it contributes to a complication complication /com·pli·ca·tion/ (kom?pli-ka´shun)
1. disease(s) concurrent with another disease.

2. occurrence of several diseases in the same patient.

 of the exchange in that higher levels of abstraction In object technology, determining the essential characteristics of an object. Abstraction is one of the basic principles of object-oriented design, which allows for creating user-defined data types, known as objects. See object-oriented programming and encapsulation.

 become necessary for critical dialogue to take place, does not have the power to foster the pupils' engagement in critical dialogue; it must be accompanied by creative thinking that questions and evaluates criteria in an attempt to improve and invent more significant criteria.

Thirdly, following analysis of the transcripts, we consider that, in the context of dialogical critical thinking, it is more accurate to speak of correction rather than self-correction. Indeed self-correction brings the person back to the self; it therefore presupposes 'meta-cognition'. Correction, on the other hand, is part of a more global and more complex process, that of 'meta-cognitive thinking', which presupposes a reflection upon the group's reflection, as well as an evaluative control of the viewpoints and beliefs conveyed. From the perspective of inter-subjectivity, which lies within the scope of critical dialogue, the relation to the group is not only fundamental, but embodies its very essence. In other words, although self-correction is a significant element in the development of critical dialogue and dialogical critical thinking, it is not sufficient to characterise dialogue as critical.

In sum, our analyses shed a different light on the definition of critical thinking proposed by Lipman. In addition to their importance on the theoretical and conceptual level, the points that emerged from our analyses also contribute to the pedagogical ped·a·gog·ic   also ped·a·gog·i·cal
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of pedagogy.

2. Characterized by pedantic formality: a haughty, pedagogic manner.
 field. Too often, we have observed teachers' enthusiasm while listening to their pupils express a plurality The opinion of an appellate court in which more justices join than in any concurring opinion.

The excess of votes cast for one candidate over those votes cast for any other candidate.

Appellate panels are made up of three or more justices.
 of well-thought-out ideas or when they hear them 'hold a dialogue', as if the combination of reflection and several ideas constitutes the advent of thought, or as if all dialogues were at once critical (see Daniel et al., 2002). Few teachers are aware that often, in these 'dazlling' exchanges, all ideas are juxtaposed jux·ta·pose  
tr.v. jux·ta·posed, jux·ta·pos·ing, jux·ta·pos·es
To place side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.
 without being questioned, all criteria are accepted as equally relevant and all principles are considered valid. Accordingly, how can these exchanges contribute to help pupils make meaningful choices if ideas, criteria, principles, etc. are not prioritised, selected, organised in a hierarchy, in short, evaluated? For school to fulfil ful·fill also ful·fil  
tr.v. ful·filled, ful·fill·ing, ful·fills also ful·fils
1. To bring into actuality; effect: fulfilled their promises.

 its social function and provide generations of youngsters able to make enlightened choices for the common good, relativism must be surpassed (perspective 2 of the grid) and skills and attitudes related to dialogical critical thinking must be stimulated in youngsters (perspectives 3 and 4 of the grid). In order to do so, these pupils' teachers first must know what critical thinking is; they must recognise its manifestations, its constituent elements and its developmental process--hence the usefulness of the proposed grid. Indeed, by referring to the grid, they will be able to determine, for example, if their pupils are using logical thinking in their exchanges and if so, according to which epistemological perspective: perspective 1, if they cannot justify their point of view; perspective 2, if they need an incentive to express a complete and plausible justification; perspective 3, if they spontaneously and completely justify their point of view. And so on.

With regard to teaching and teacher training, Van Manen (1977) considers there are three levels of reflexivity re·flex·ive  
1. Directed back on itself.

2. Grammar
a. Of, relating to, or being a verb having an identical subject and direct object, as dressed in the sentence She dressed herself.
: (a) centred on technical means to reach a given goal; (b) understood as the process of analysing meanings, hypotheses and perceptions underlying practical actions; (c) that incorporates critical questions dwelling dwelling

an abnormality of gait in a horse in which there is a momentary hesitation before the foot is placed on the ground.
 on moral, ethical and political aspects of teaching and learning. Van Manen's third level characterises the critical teacher; it could correspond to epistemological perspectives 3 and 4 of our grid--inter-subjectivity.

In today's world, in which knowledge is exponential 1. (mathematics) exponential - A function which raises some given constant (the "base") to the power of its argument. I.e.

f x = b^x

If no base is specified, e, the base of natural logarthims, is assumed.
 and technical actions are sometimes considered as a way to attain efficiency, teachers-to-be must not only learn to think of the how of their actions, but also of the why. We uphold up·hold  
tr.v. up·held , up·hold·ing, up·holds
1. To hold aloft; raise: upheld the banner proudly.

2. To prevent from falling or sinking; support.

 that teacher training programs must strive towards the development of critical thinking or, in other words, that they must not be exclusively centred on the objective of knowledge acquisition, since a stock of knowledge is beneficial only to the extent that the student can create links between information, reorganise Verb 1. reorganise - organize anew, as after a setback
regroup, reorganize

form, organize, organise - create (as an entity); "social groups form everywhere"; "They formed a company"

 information to reach a personal goal such as solving a problem, analyse an argument, negotiate a point, etc. (Daniel, 1996).

Our hypothesis concerns the use of the dialogical critical thinking developmental grid in teacher training. Consequently we propose that it be used not only in academic classes where exchanges between pre-service teachers take place, but also during their teaching practice, when they exchange with pupils. At this time, the grid could, for example, be used to observe whether a trainee when reprimanding a pupil is able to add a meaningful explanation for the reprimand REPRIMAND, punishment. The censure which in some cases a public office pronounces against an offender.
     2. This species of punishment is used by legislative bodies to punish their members or others who have been guilty of some impropriety of conduct towards them.
 (logical thinking, perspective 3): if the trainee, in addition to providing pupils with the context for the information she or he passes on (creative thinking, perspective 2), is also able to suggest relevant and new relationships between theory and practice so as to cognitively destabilise Verb 1. destabilise - become unstable; "The economy destabilized rapidly"

change - undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature; "She changed completely as she grew older"; "The weather changed last night"
 the pupils and thus allow them for more meaningful learning experiences (creative thinking, perspective 4); if the trainee, in addition to listening to a pupil's point of view before reprimanding her or him (responsible thinking, perspective 2), is also able to establish links between deviant deviant /de·vi·ant/ (de´ve-int)
1. varying from a determinable standard.

2. a person with characteristics varying from what is considered standard or normal.

 behaviours and school rules in order to evaluate the relevance of both (responsible thinking, perspective 3) or to encourage pupils to reflect upon the causes and consequences of their actions on the group (responsible thinking, perspective 4); if the trainee, in addition to descriptively taking stock of the teaching session (meta-cognitive thinking, perspective 2), is also able to evaluate it for improvement purposes (meta-cognitive thinking, perspective 3).


As our methodological postulate, we used Lipman's thesis, which considers critical thinking to be higher-order thinking (HOT). However, according to the definition elaborated by Lipman, multi-dimensional thinking includes critical, creative and responsible thinking. Thus critical thinking to Lipman is an entity of its own which functions autonomously in relation to the other thinking modes. Each of these modes is distinctive from the others, although interrelated with them. These are the elements of the definition which we wished to validate in elementary school elementary school: see school.  pupils' thinking when engaged in philosophical discussions.

Analysis of twenty-four transcripts of exchanges among eight groups of pupils aged ten to twelve, from three cultural backgrounds (Australia, Mexico and Quebec), reveals that the youngsters are capable, when they have experience with the P4C approach for more than one school year, of exchanging according to a dialogical critical mode; and that many of them achieve, thanks to this environment, an epistemological perspective anchored in inter-subjectivity oriented towards meaning.

Hereafter In the future.

The term hereafter is always used to indicate a future time—to the exclusion of both the past and present—in legal documents, statutes, and other similar papers.
 the next challenge consists in transcending the theoretical dimension and applying the proposed grid to exchanges among pupils, to educate future generations in a more global manner, and thus, as Lipman pointed out, provide them with the tools to counter opinions (uncritical thinking) and thoughtless action. To this end, it would be appropriate to see university professors also use the grid to guide future teachers in their discourse and teaching methods.


creative thinking criteria critical thinking dialogues discourse philosophy for children


(1) Let us specify that there exist other models to analyse pupil discourse, namely the Pragmadialectic model that takes into account implicit sequences (see Slade, n.d.).

(2) For details about the grid's constituent elements, see Daniel et al. (in press).

(3) In this study, we do not analyse pupils as individuals, but rather the group as a whole.


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Act or process of knowing. Cognition includes every mental process that may be described as an experience of knowing (including perceiving, recognizing, conceiving, and reasoning), as distinguished from an experience of feeling or of willing.
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2. Expert in or using analysis, especially one who thinks in a logical manner.

3. Psychoanalytic.
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Dr Marie-France Darnel is Professor, Department of Kinesiology kinesiology

Study of the mechanics and anatomy of human movement and their roles in promoting health and reducing disease. Kinesiology has direct applications to fitness and health, including developing exercise programs for people with and without disabilities, preserving
, Universite de Montreal, C.P.6128 succ. Centre-Ville, Montreal (Quebec), H3C 3J7 Canada.

Dr Laurance Splitter is Professor, Department of Education, Hunter College Hunter College: see New York, City University of. , City University of New York The City University of New York (CUNY; acronym: IPA pronunciation: [kjuni]), is the public university system of New York City. , 695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10021, United States of America UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The name of this country. The United States, now thirty-one in number, are Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, .

Dr Christina Slade is Dean of Humanities, Macquarie University Location
University publications and material indicate that its campus is located in the suburb of North Ryde, although the Geographical Names Board of NSW indicates it is located in the suburb of Macquarie Park. The University has its own postcode: 2109.
, Sydney, New South Wales New South Wales, state (1991 pop. 5,164,549), 309,443 sq mi (801,457 sq km), SE Australia. It is bounded on the E by the Pacific Ocean. Sydney is the capital. The other principal urban centers are Newcastle, Wagga Wagga, Lismore, Wollongong, and Broken Hill.  2109.

Dr Louise Lafortune is Professor, Department of Education, Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres, 3351 Boulevard des Forges (C.P. 500), Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, G9A 5H7 Canada.

Dr Richard Pallascio is Professor, Department of Mathematics, Universite du Quebec Montreal, C.P. 8888, succ. Centre-Ville, Montreal, Quebec, H3C 3P8 Canada.

Dr Pierre Mongeau is Professor, Department of Communications, Universite du Quebec Montreal, C.P. 8888, succ. Centre-Ville, Montreal, Quebec, H3C 3P8 Canada. E-mail:

Louise_Lafortune@UQTR UQTR Université du Québec À Trois-Rivières .CA
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Date:Nov 1, 2004
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