Saturday, March 26, 2005

It Takes a Theory

Brown, J.S., Collins, A. & Duguid, P. (1989, Jan/Feb). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 32-42.
Covi, L.M. (1999). Material mastery: Situating digital library use in university research practices. Information Processing & Management 35, 293-316.
Gross, M. (2004). Children's information seeking at school: Findings from a qualitative study. In M.K. Chelton & C. Cool (Eds.), Youth Information-Seeking Behavior: Theories, Models and Issues, 211-240. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow.

The unbelievable thing about the three readings about theory and practice and education, namely Lisa Covi's article, Material Mastery, Brown and Duguid
s ...Situated cognition... and Gross's Children's information seeking at school look at the footnotes soon reveals that the debate about education and its purposes has raged since Plato was a child, but more recently even with the brilliance of theories put forth by Alfred North Whitehead in 1929 in his earth-shaking essay, the philosophy of education, the institution of education keeps the best ideas imprisoned in mere rhetoric. Of course the concept of education being relevant and useful is still trying to have its day. I think it's fair to say that education will always be a forum for change and challenge. But as far as our readings, the debate is whether the classroom is really the proper place to prepare for professional practice. Certainly in the case of librarianship, the answer is still, "no." At least the MLIS curriculum in falling short of really becoming skilled practicioners offers the internship as a practical solution. Then again. The task of bettering education is a political and economic problem, not simply a theoretical one.

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