Integrating learning->practice LO5565
Mon, 12 Feb 1996 20:37:17 -0500

Not a response to the current messages, i post these thoughts and
questions which keep nagging at the back of my head....

In the course of research for my master's thesis project, (a product plan
for management simulation software) i have been examining "ways of
knowing" as developed by folks like the Institute for Research on Learning
(IRL) and John Seeley Brown. Both describe formal (explicit) and informal
(tacit or emergent) ways of knowing. Both posit the notion of communities
of practice as central to developing, nuturing, and disseminating tacit
forms of knowledge. IRL believes that the very separation of learning
from work (in the form of explicit training programs, distinct and removed
from practice) is quite possibly one of the biggest hurdles for learning

By this definition, management flight simulators as described in Senge's
Field Book would qualify as such a separate form of learning. As i
grapple with the problem of how a simulation could be integrated into
everyday practice, i wondered if anyone has had experience in trying to
incorporate simulation, or other computer-mediated communications into
everyday, real work and to what extent the effort was successful... or

Along these lines, if organizations are viewed as "webs of participation,"
changing the pattern of participation should change the organization. I
wonder what effect this has on current management processes and styles?
What are the deeply held assumptions of management that must be addressed
for changes in participation to take root?

I welcome any and all replies!

Chris Costello
Institute of Design

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