When Ahmad observed this discussion in his auto-confrontation, he reacted: the participants began by throwing out ideas… and then everybody agrees, agrees, agrees, and in fact, I don’t know about what. In his view, what happens here is disagreement which is called an ‘agreement’. When Ahmad read Judith’s contribution at Turn 12 (We all agree. Is it possible?), he felt that this means that we are afraid of ourselves. Is it possible that we agreed? On what did we agree?We agreed on one sentence […], the fact that the teacher should be at the center of research and should look at the students. But we didn’t formulate this properly. He recalled the importance of collaborative learning to contrast it from the ‘railroad parallel tracks’ (sic) that characterized the beginning of the talk. Ahmad thought that discussants should slow down their pace and begin to read others’ contributions to uncover their real meaning.
Ahmad raises an additional idea, the importance of formulating own opinion or of creating own position. He criticized the Arab society to which he belongs, that does not enable young people to think autonomously: the Arab society is clearly patriarchal. The father decides on everything, and everybody has… sometimes, this is not the father, this is the grandfather […] and everybody must tell him ‘yes’ and nobody argues with him, nobody argues with him about things that are important in their lives. The society was built in a way that only when you get old, you can think, you are allowed to think. Before you are old, you must listen, you must accumulate wisdom. It seems that Ahmad sees the problems of his society through the lenses of Rim and Fatima’s contributions. In the next episodes, we will see how Ahmad decided to act to improve the quality of the discussion. The way he chooses reflects what he thinks about what a good discussion is. But first of all, let us see what Judith has to say on the same episode.