NSL Blog

Curiosity and education a non-linear approach (part two)

April 13, 2013

Deutsch: Henry Jenkins.

Deutsch: Henry Jenkins. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2006, Henry Jenkins produced a report on media literacy for the MacArthur Foundation. It states that it has identified  ‘a set of core social skills and cultural competencies that young people should acquire if they are to be full, active, creative, and ethical participants in this emerging participatory culture’, I  think this lives in craftsmanship because the authority of the craftsman, resides in the quality of his skills, such as:



  • Play – the capacity to experiment with your surroundings as a form of problem-solving.
  • Performance – the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery.
  • Simulation – the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real world processes.
  • Appropriation – the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content.
  • Multitasking – the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details.
  • Distributed cognition – the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities.
  • Collective intelligence – the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal.
  • Judgment – the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources.
  • Transmedia navigation – the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities.
  • Networking -the ability to search for, synthesise, and disseminate information.
  • Negotiation – the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms.

‘These skills will help young people work through the ethical dilemmas they face in their everyday lives. Such a systemic approach is needed if children are to acquire the core social skills and cultural competencies needed in a modern era’, argues Jenkins. I might add that these are skills that we all need to learn. Socrates sought to understand the meaning of truth, justice, beauty and decent society by questioning people directly about how they understood the meanings of those particular words. In many ways, craftsmanship as a concept and philosophy equally asks us those very direct and pressing questions. From Chapter Six No Straight Lines: Crafting a new pursuit of happiness: re-ordering work and play.

Further comment from Paul Collard… a takeout maybe this, if we teach children and young people to be creative, we are teaching them to learn. And what we mean by learning is; how do I make sense of knowledge. Not; how do I acquire knowledge. Because there is just no shortage of knowledge out there. The point that Henry makes too.

Collard: Do-it-yourself and collaborative learning from FreedomLab on Vimeo.

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