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Title: Cognitive Partnerships on the Bench Tops
Authors: Newstetter, Wendy C.
Kurz.-Milcke, Elke
Nersessian, Nancy J.
Issue Date: Jun-2004
Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Citation: Newstetter, W. C., Kurz.-Milcke, E., & Nersessian, N. J. (2004). Cognitive Partnerships on the Bench Tops. In Kafai, Y. B., Sandoval, W. A., Enyedy, N., Nixon, A. S., & Herrera, F. (Eds.), International Conference of the Learning Sciences 2004: Embracing Diversity in the Learning Sciences (pp. 372-379). Santa Monica, CA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Abstract: Research laboratories or what we are calling innovation communities, are potentially rich sites for understanding situated learning since their goal is to develop new knowledge and innovative practices. Here we report on a two year study of learning in a tissue engineering lab, an evolving community of practice in the historically recent field of biomedical engineering. Findings suggest the critical role artifacts play beyond merely being part of a distributed cognitive system. Lab artifacts such as cells and engineered bio-substitutes offer potential cognitive partnerships to learners. Over time, understandings are constructed, revised, enhanced and transformed by learning through and with the artifacts present in the community. We find that these dynamic relationships are critical to knowledge acquisition and deepening forms of participation and in their developed stage, best described as partnerships which support model-based and simulative reasoning.
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2004

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