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The purpose of this article is to examine and conceptualize our pedagogical and organizational experiences and understandings of how undergraduates and instructors participating in the UC-Links Project from Fall 1996 to Spring 1997 learned together through their engagements in undergraduate courses and afterschool activities with predominantly Mexican-descent children at a local community center. We had started our project privileging collaboration and collaborative guidance as the way to approach our collective engagements; however, the events in the project pushed us to reconsider our practice. It took us 25 years to completely understand that what we have come to call “critical dialoguing in action” is how we now conceive of innovative organizational and pedagogical practice, which stands in contrast to the pedagogical and organizational notion of collaboration. We describe the efforts and struggles participants, including ourselves, encountered developing, implementing, and communicating about innovative teaching approaches and practices that we originally thought aimed to promote meaningful and collaborative learning. We call particular attention to dilemmas participants faced dialoguing about the dynamic teaching/learning processes that emerged in our project. These experiences prompted us to characterize our vision for participants’ involvement in the project as “critical dialoguing in action,” which contributed to our ongoing analysis and understanding of emerging dilemmas in our work.
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