Retrieving the general from the particular: the structure of craft knowledge

SOURCE: Journal of Education
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2003
TITLE AUTHOR(S): J.Gamble
KEYWORDS: VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING
DEPARTMENT: Education and Skills Development (ESD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 2026

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Abstract

This paper poses Bernstein's depiction of craft as a "horizontal knowledge structure within vertical discourse" as a puzzle and investigates this positioning through the development of a conceptual framework that follows Abbott's argument for self-similarity in fractal division. It draws on historical-empirical material as well as on some of the findings of an ethnographic study of cabinetmaker apprentices. It concludes that craft as knowledge form and its related transmission-acquisition practices constitute a restricted orientation which cannot yield a resolution to the "theory-practice" conundrum, yet they have much to offer those tasked with reform in vocational education and training.