Book by: Gertina J. van Schalkwyk and Rik Carl D’Amato (Eds.)
Review by: Matt Eng
Mānoa Advising Center
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Facilitative Collaborative Knowledge Co-Construction is a collection of five chapters looking at the development of learning in multicultural classrooms. It is important to note that this is the second volume on teaching and learning. As such, this volume builds on concepts previously discussed and explored.
Even without reading the first volume before reading this one, the reader is able to engage with the material if they have previous background or experience in teaching student-centered classrooms. Regardless of previous experience, however, readers are able to collect important understandings of teaching and different learning strategies by reading this book as a stand-alone text.
The purpose of the book is to address the aims of education and challenging different education traditions, often by providing perspectives of learning traditions outside of the United States. Since many of the chapters focus on teaching for individual learner understanding, advisors can modify the practices to their appointments with students. The chapters within the text combine a nice balance of theory and practice together.
The chapter that had the strongest focus on skill and knowledge development for advisors is chapter 4, “Emotional Intelligence and Sociocognative Skills in Collaborative Teaching and Leaning.” In this chapter, the author describes how emotional intelligence is being used in a changing global society; that is, moving beyond measurement of test scores to global citizenship and application of knowledge. What readers can find especially helpful when thinking about application of emotional intelligence in advising and teaching is the universal nature of the chapter. Eastern and Western socialization differences are acknowledged, but in a way that emphasizes the applicability beyond the differences. Keeping with the global emphasis and nature of NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising, advisors can use the understanding of emotional intelligence when working with their advisees, regardless of their background.
As an academic advisor, Facilitative Collaborative Knowledge Co-Construction directly relates to NACADA’s expression of advising as teaching. Chapters such as Relational Intelligence and Collaborative Learning help define an understanding of a partnership between the learner (advisee) and teacher (advisor). Reflective writing to deepen learning may not be in every advisor’s toolkit, but is an activity that advisors might investigate within this text, which could aid in developmental advising sessions.
I would recommend this book to other advisors who are already teaching and looking to develop their understanding of teaching pedagogy, as well as those advisors or advising units who are considering offering courses in the future. For those who are preparing to teach for the first time, it would be beneficial to read this book after reading the first volume on New Directions for Teaching and Learning Special Issue (From the Confucian Way to Collaborative Knowledge Co-Construction) offered by the publishers.
From the Confucian Way to Collaborative Knowledge Co-Construction. (2015). Gertina J. van Schalkwyk and Rik Carl D’Amato (Eds.), Jossey-Bass. 96 pp., (Paperback), ISBN 9781119108443
Facilitative Collaborative Knowledge Co-Construction. (2015). Book by Gertina J. van Schalkwyk and Rik Carl D’Amato (Eds.). Review by Matt Eng. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 112 pp., $29.00 (Paperback). ISBN 978-1-119-16949-9.