Quote: “Learning as internalization is too easily construed as an unproblematic process of absorbing the given, as a matter of transmission and assimilation. (Lave and Wenger, p 47)The process of learning is more than receiving knowledge. No matter how well I instruct, my students will not learn until it means something to them and invites them into a community that supports that learning.
Questions: How can I invite each student into our science community? How can I empower each student to be a teacher of others?
Connection: In light of the apprentice perspective, classroom management becomes very essential. It is the environment and community of the classroom that will be of most value to my students. I hope to help them develop skills to be a scientist not just to learn chemistry. These science skills will help them in relationships, in financial tasks, in life. These skills are to question, to be curious, to wonder, to problem solve and to act to resolve problems. These are life skills that will be nurtured in my science community.
Epiphany: “ As an aspect of social practice, learning involves the whole person; it implies not only a relation to specific activities, but a relation to social communities- it implies becoming a full participant, a member, a kind of person.” (Lave and Wenger, p 53)
In order for learning to be more than knowledge, it must involve the whole student and social interactions that allow the student and the society to change.
Quote: “apprenticeship as a form for producing knowledgeably skilled persons… (Lave and Wenger, p 62)The best way to learn is to work beside someone who knows.
Questions: What does learning through peripheral participation look like?
There is no formal training for the midwives. The learning process is a gradual release with apprentice watching and then doing as skills are mastered.
Vai and Gola Tailors
There is a formalized apprenticeship. There is a structured reverse learning system. They learn finishing skills and work backward to the cutting.
They can begin in specialized schools, but this may be a hinderance once they begin to train on the ship. There are distinct steps or skills that follow the trail of the information. Learning taught in collaboration as apprentice follows master. Tools don’t always facilitate learning through limited access.
Trade school for meat cutters is very structured not at all adaptive for learning. This experience provides a certificate but not alway relevant for real work. Tasks for meat cutters can be very specialized, which limits learning.
The 12 step program provides a specific pathway. Language in the form of shared stories provides for reconstruction of identity. There is no explicit learning.
Epiphany: The common thread through these examples of apprenticeships is that the best learning occurs in a social setting where collaboration facilitates experiences. Formal instruction, explicit learning, language or ceremony are not as vital as proximal learning.
Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.