Publication 295

Scott B. (2008) Working with Gordon: Developing and applying conversation theory (1967–1978). In: Luppicini R. (ed.) Handbook of conversation design for instruction. Idea Group, New York: 19–34. Fulltext at
Conversation Theory was conceived and developed by Gordon Pask in the days when he was Research Director of System Research Ltd, a non-profit research organisation founded in the 1950's. I worked with Gordon at System Research Ltd between 1968 and 1978. Here, I give a personalised account of the development of Conversation Theory and its applications as I observed and participated in them during those years. Conversation Theory is reflexive: it explains the observer to himself. Being party to its development was a journey of self-discovery and self-invention in which Gordon was my guide and mentor. I have ordered my account chronologically; I have also tried to show how Conversation Theory evolved in a “boot-strapping” manner as a tool and as an explanation of its own significance. Gordon, par excellence, knew how to foster creative conversation and “moments of excellence”


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