John Seely Brown, who was the director of the amazing Xerox Parc for many years, and whose book The Social Life of Information was hugely influential in the tech industry in which I work, has a new book coming out soon, The New Culture of Learning, which looks great. You can download the first three chapters from the site.
He talks a lot about one of my pet subjects, Community Mentoring, the apprenticeship model of education:
Where traditionally mentoring was a means of enculturating members into a community, mentoring in the collective relies more on the sense of learning and developing temporary, peer-to-peer relationships that are fluid and impermanent. Expertise is shared openly and willingly, without regard to an institutional mission. Instead, expertise is shared conditionally and situationally, as a way to enable the agency of other members of the collective.
…as well as a dozen other favorite topics of mine: play as a means of learning, constraints as a stimulus for, rather than an inhibition of, creativity, and so on. I wish I could figure out how to get my hands on the whole book. There is a great page of resources on the site as well, for further exploration.
Here is an interview with John from the site, talking about tinkering as a mode of knowledge production, an idea reinforced by my recent visit to MakerBot.
(Thanks for the head’s up, Scott!)