Apprenticeship – The “workout” of maker learning

Apprenticeship describes the short-term and high-structure quadrant of our Maker Learning Matrix. This is facilitator-led learning through directive projects in which one would develop essential skills by learning established practices.

Our goals here are to address the gap between the known and the desire to know. The tension that comes from discovery – between what was previously known, what was discovered, and what new understanding is required to make sense of the discovery – engages us in this directive journey to build concrete skills that allow us to manipulate unique concepts, techniques and processes. For many, this is tedious work, not creative. We want to rush to the creative work without the grind of building the muscles of skill and knowledge. That’s why the Discovery process is so important. That “why-tension” creates the motivation and the desire to build these muscles.
I happened upon a great e-discussion that began with a tweet from Amos Blanton of LEGO and discussed in a post by Colleen Graves – of Makey Makey/Joy Labz about directive versus open-ended kits or projects. This culminated in a YouTube video of a discussion between a “klatch” (their word) of maker-educators about the subject. The discussion started as if there is a choice, or argument, of what is better – and seemed to settle on an uneasy agreement that it is a progression from directive to open-ended. I think our Maker Learning Matrix draws a map that puts a dimensional perspective on the conversation.

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