What is knowledge and how do we become knowledgeable, which for us then also becomes what our role is in children becoming knowledgeable.
This may seem “all abstract and philosophical,” but I am only now beginning to appreciate how debilitating it is for us not to have command of words like this (and pedagogy, which Seymour Papert defined simply as the method and practice of teaching) in our working vocabulary, because what we believe knowledge is and how we become knowledgeable, or learn, subtly but profoundly determines what we do and how we go about doing it.
This was hauntingly brought home to me when watching Iris, the film about British writer and philosopher Iris Murdoch. At one terrifying point in the film, as Alzheimer’s disease began to dissolve the connection between words and their meaning, she asks, “Without words, how does one think?”
So, if we are in the business of knowledge and learning, yet do not have clarity about what we understand by knowledge and how children learn, then how do we think about and reflect on what we do. Even worse, how do we effectively collaborate with our colleagues outside of the library to create the optimal conditions for learning that you refer to.
Something to think about – the fact that a model of the inquiry process, or inquiry more broadly, has brought this community into being, speaks volumes about what we believe knowledge is and how children learn, and what our role in that learning is, even if we can’t yet articulate this clearly.