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Rethinking apprenticeship

Andy Boyd comes back to blogging with Croeso (one more Welsh word to learn 🙂 and with a reflection on modern day apprentiships:

I have just returned home from my funiture making lessons with Hans Koot in Renkum, here 6 of us learn the old hand skills of furniture making and a little about design. It struck me that what we are often trying to do with Knowldge Management is to transfer experience and maybe the old fashioned apprentiships may give us some clues to tried and tested techniques.

I’m not surprised with a lot of synchronicity recently. Here is my “definition” of KM in a paper-to-be:

In a simple way the purpose of knowledge management could be defined as supporting learning from and building upon experiences of others in a company in a way that crosses geographical, hierarchical or time borders.

The paper is on rethinking apprenticeship 🙂 I’ll share some bits that inspire me…

Jim McGee on knowledge work as a craft:

The indirect values of improving knowledge work visibility may be the heart of realizing the promise of knowledge management for the organization. […] The first will be increasing the value of knowledge work as a learning environment for other knowledge workers. As craft work, knowledge work fits more into apprenticeship learning models than in conventional training approaches. Making the work process and its intermediate products more visible will make the apprenticeship process more effective.

John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid in Stolen knowledge:

The means to build connections between learners and to the world of full-blooded practice are essential. In the workplace, learners can, when they need, steal their knowledge from the social periphery made up of other, more experienced workers and ongoing, socially shared practice. […] A preferable goal, it seems to us, is to design technology that provides an underconstrained “window” onto practice, allowing students to look through it onto as much actual practice as it can reveal, to see to increasingly greater depths, and to collaborate in exploration. The closer such technology can come to making theft possible, the better it is likely to be.

Me and Sebastian Fiedler in Learning webs:

Distributed apprenticeship. Regular reading of other weblogs provides novices with opportunities to learn from experts’ “thinking in public”, selecting role models and engaging in conversations beyond geographical or disciplinary borders.

I do experience blogging this way and I wonder if it could work in a corporate KM settings…

Archived version of this entry is available at http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2004/02/06.html#a1074; comments are here.

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