This post angles nicely into something I’ve been thinking about from my folklorist’s perspective: that this “new” learning, with its choices of approach and materials; personalization of style; and cooperative and collaborative systems of exchange and modeling and mentoring, is really an expression of craft as a process of knowing and communication/production. (This latter concept still a bit tangle-y).
I’ve found the process of reflection and development in “non-factory” learning is indeed similar to that expressed by cabinet makers or quilters discussing their work. As you say, without an eye accustomed to (or trained in) recognizing and appreciating the skill and variances brought to these type of pursuits, it is hard to recognize their value over a highly controlled factory process and the factory-made; in this light, such craft processes and subsequent productions may even be viewed as “flawed.” (Weirdly, we now have factories trying to imitate the handmade and unique by “distressing” furniture, etc. Wonder how this will be expressed as “hand-crafted learning” moves forward…)
Yes, the work of the hands is a very old standard, but I agree-it’s highly applicable.
(P.S. I’m pretty sure that when we sang the button song at camp, it ended when “Joe” keeled over from exhaustion:-))