David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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British Journal of Educational Studies 56 (3):245 - 271 (2008)
The paper considers apprenticeship as a model of education that both teaches technical skills and provides the grounding for personal formation. The research presented is based on long-term anthropological fieldwork with minaret builders in Yemen, mud masons in Mali and fine-woodwork trainees in London. These case studies of on-site learning and practice support an expanded notion of knowledge that exceeds propositional thinking and language and centrally includes the body and skilled performance. Crafts -- like sport, dance and other skilled physical activities -- are largely communicated, understood and negotiated between practitioners without words, and learning is achieved through observation, mimesis and repeated exercise. The need for an interdisciplinary study of communication and understanding from the body is therefore underlined, and the paper suggests a way forward drawing on linguistic theory and recent neurological findings. It is argued that the validation and promotion of skilled practice as 'intelligent' is necessary for raising the status and credibility of apprenticestyle learning within our Western systems of education.
|Keywords||embodied learning craft knowledge apprenticeship linguistic theory ethnographic method modern apprenticeships embodied communication situated learning|
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Michel Foucault (1977). Discipline and Punish. Vintage Books.
S. Bordo (2004). Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body. University of California Press.
M. Jeannerod (1994). The Representing Brain: Neural Correlates of Motor Intention and Imagery. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17 (2):187.
Tim Ingold (2000). The Perception of the Environment: Essays on Livelihood, Dwelling & Skill. Routledge.
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