Monday, February 25, 2013

‘…as a group of people engage in an activity together, their ability to carry it out effectively resides not only in their individual knowledge and skills, nor just in their ability to collaborate; it is distributed across the artifacts that are to hand and the ‘affordances’ (and also the constraints) provided by the environment.’
Gordon Wells & Guy Claxton (2002)

This quote from Wells and Claxton bridges ideas about individual knowledge, or 'funds of knowledge' (Moll & Greenberg, 2005) which are social constructions, and pushes past the issue of collaborative skills engaging directly with the issue of how tools (physical like the violin, virtual like Second Life or symbolic like language used) are not separate from those engaged in the activity. They make meaning through use of these tools, and refine the tools as they are used, building their contexts of practice at a social level.