Collaborative Discourse: A Stepping-Stone in Creating a Sustainable World

By Phil Kitchel posted 04-13-2023 11:08 AM


By Lucijan Jović

Society is made up of individuals from all walks of life. It is filled with multiple cultures, varied opinions, different backgrounds; however, speaking English is one thing most of us have in common. Regardless of one’s career, the ability to speak, read, and write effectively is a necessity. Burke (2013) in The English Teacher’s Companion, stresses that “each discipline develops in students not just bodies of knowledge—facts, theories, concepts to memorize—but ways of seeing, thinking, and communicating, all of which rely on the fundamental literacies [learned] in English class” (p.2). 

As educators, we prepare our students to not only read and write effectively, but speak and think critically, essential skills in today’s workforce. Burke (2013) stresses the importance of common skills that employers look for when hiring young people, which must be stressed in education. He argues, “[The CEOs] look for someone who asks good questions, for employees to solve problems or learn new things, asking questions is the single most important skill. [In addition, they] want people to engage in good discussion (p.4).”

For educators, this means including more research writing assignments that stress the importance of constructing claims and using supporting evidence to strengthen their position. I believe that by doing so, students are not only solidifying their ability to compose research questions, but are gaining valuable communication skills by learning how to support their positions with evidence. Although it is important to prepare students for the workforce, it is also imperative that our students are prepared for the challenges they will face as they enter college.

As a representative to the United Nations, I’m often called to engage in collaborative discourse. The UN has taught me to value the conversations I engage in, listen attentively to world leaders and delegates’ experiences, and value collaboration as it promotes greater learning. Burke (2013) makes a strong argument that “we [must] play our part in developing the academic literacies students need to succeed in school now and college or post-secondary education” (p.8). As an educator, researcher, and doctoral student, I believe that constructing lessons and curricula where self-regulated learning and collaboration are the backbone of instruction will encourage students to ignite and drive change in their communities. Furthermore, this will follow the United Nation’s sustainable development goal in creating a more sustainable future for generations to come.

Mr. Jović, M.S. ED, teaches 8th grade English & Writing as well as students in grades 9-12 with limited English proficiency. He is pursuing his doctorate in Educational Leadership & Administration at Molloy University with a focus on social justice and high-quality/equitable education for all learners. Mr. Jović also serves as a collaborator in the Cognition and Learning Laboratory at Molloy University. Apart from teaching and learning, he is also a KDP representative to the United Nations in New York City, meeting with delegates and leaders from across the globe.


Burke, J. (2013). English Teacher’s Companion. Heinemann.