[CITA] El conocimiento como infraestructura

But knowledge is infrastructure too. Science and technology are the basis of the modern economy and key to solving many serious environmental, social, and security challenges. Basic research, driven by curiosity, freedom, and imagination, provides the groundwork for all applied research and technology. And just as we have to break the endless cycle of temporary fixes to our transportation, long-term investments in knowledge are vital, especially nowadays when short-term objectives and results seem to capture the most attention and dollars.


Robbert Dijkgraaf. Knowledge Is a Kind of Infrastructure. Scientific american

[Glosario] Producción de conocimiento

Es un proceso intencional de producción de artefactos epistémicos y herramientas cognitivas y de resolución de problemas. El objetivo principal no es aprender sobre o de algo, aunque el proceso de producción de conocimiento puede generar aprendizaje. Su fin último es la producción social de conocimiento en el doble sentido de que es una actividad que se hace en colaboración con otras personas y cuyo resultado es la producción de objetos, artefactos, herramientas, prácticas…. que están en el medio social y son accesibles desde ese medio.


Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (2003). Knowledge building. In Encyclopedia of Education (2nd ed., pp. 1370-1373). New York: Macmillan Reference, USA.
Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (2010). A brief history of knowledge building. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology 36(1).

[cita] Wikis y epistemología

The key pedagogical benefit wikis offer is epistemological. Wikis demonstrate, in a clear and obvious fashion, how knowledge is a function of communities engaged in ongoing discourse. Whereas conventional print scholarship tends to physically elide the evidence of its development, wikis highlight and preserve it in sedimentary or fossil layers. They also demonstrate and build upon the interconnectedness of knowledge and illustrate plainly that no discourse exists in isolation from other discourse. Finally, wikis make the fundamental importance of rhetoric clear to students. Successful wiki authors aren’t just knowledgeable; they are persuasive. Indeed, I would argue that the “objective tone” is the “grand style” of our times. The “I think,” “in my opinion,” and “I believe” of so much student writing betrays a lack of con‹dence, a timidity that comes at a cost. The wiki author must speak with what is truly a public voice. After all—the most convincing opin- ions are objective fact (p. 186).

Matt Barton. 2009. Is There a Wiki in This Class? Wikibooks and the Future of Higher Education en Barton, M., & Cummings, R. (Eds.). Wiki writing: Collaborative learning in the college classroom. University of Michigan Press.

[cita] Conocimiento tácito

The idea of tacit knowledge is due to the chemist and philosopher Michael Polanyi (1958). Collins introduced the term to STS in a study of attempts by researchers to build a Transversely Excited Atmospheric Laser, or TEA-laser (Collins 1974, 1991). In the early 1970s, he interviewed researchers at six different British laboratories, all of which were trying to
build versions of a TEA-laser, and interviewed scientists at five North American laboratories from which the British groups had received informa- tion. The main attraction of the TEA-laser, which had been developed in a Canadian defense laboratory, was the low cost and robustness of its gas chamber. The components could be easily purchased, and the design was thought to be particularly straightforward.

However, the transfer of knowledge about how to build the laser was difficult. Nobody “succeeded in building a laser by using only information found in published or other written sources. . . . no scientist succeeded where their informant was a ‘middle man’ who had not built a device himself. . . . [E]ven where the informant had built a successful device, and where the information flowed freely as far as could be seen, the learner would be unlikely to succeed without some extended period of contact with the informant” (Collins 1992: 55). The difficulty was not merely because of secrecy, as Collins observed cases in which there was no apparent secrecy, but in which knowledge did not travel easily. Rather, the transfer of knowledge about how to build the laser required more than simply a set of instructions; it required the passing on of a skill. As a result Collins com- pares two models of the transfer of knowledge: the “algorithmic” model assumes that a set of formal descriptions or instructions can suffice; the “encul- turational” model assumes that socialization is necessary.

While some knowledge can be easily communicated in written (or some equivalent) form, some resists formalization. Some relevant knowledge about TEA-lasers could be isolated, written down and distributed, but some information could be communicated only through a socialization process. This is tacit knowledge.

Segio Sismondo. An Introduction to Science and Technology Studies, pp. 108-109.

[cita] Compartir conocimiento

“Although the authors had adopted Davenport & Prusak’s perfectly respectable definition of knowledge as a “fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextual information, and expert insight” it was becoming increasingly apparent as I worked my way into the paper that what they really meant by “knowledge sharing” was confined to contributing to and consuming from an online KM system (…).

  • Not all sharing is created equal – people share as part of their jobs, for purely altruistic reasons, or for a blend of the two.

  • Much of our important sharing has formal, well developed conventions and rituals.

  • Social prejudice can get in the way of knowledge sharing, even if the relevant information is available and known (…).

  • To understand knowledge sharing, we have to look beyond the event to the context: a knowledge sharing event rarely exists in a vaccuum; it’s usually a part of an interlocking network of knowledge sharing events, each of which complements and informs the others.

  • Knowledge sharing is often highly influenced by urgency, affective and emotional influences, and visible practical needs.

  • Knowledge sharing can be symmetrical (two way) or asymmetrical (one way) – context dictates which is most appropriate.

  • Knowledge sharing is not simply about transmit-receive transactions: even when there is a prime receiver in an asymmetric relationship, the receiver can shape and guide the sharing based on what he/she already knows”.

    Patrick Lambe. Green Chamaleon



El conocimiento autista

Patrick Lambe en un ensayo titulado “The autism of knwoledge management” afirma que la visión del conocimiento como un objeto discreto, un contenido que puede ser archivado y transferido a cualquier persona y en cualquier contexto guarda muchas semejanzas con el uso del lenguaje que hacen las personas autistas: frases o cadenas de palabras sin sentido, repetidas de forma fija una y otra vez, fuera de contexto y de toda situación comunicativa concreta. Imposible darle, por tanto un significado (meaningless noncontextual echolalia).

Aquellos que piensan el conocimiento como contenido transferible olvidan “the unique contexts within which the temporary construction of meaning takes place [y] (…) the uniqueness of each learning situation, its history and its direction” (p. 1). Al contrario, Lambe afirma que:

All learning has context, and it has historicity. In both dimensions, in its context and its historicity, knowledge is imbued with meaning and emotion far beyond its informational content, and it is netted in a social understanding of the world. It is layered in time, overlaid, often obscured and sometimes revived and resurfaced, to take on fresh shades of significance. It has a past and a future. It means different things to different people. Knowledge as we use it is organic and contiguous to our existence as continuous, conscious and social identities (pp.5-6).

Separar el conocimiento del contexto en el que ha emergido “disengage knowledge and learning from its immediate relevance, and makes it harder to ascribe significance to it” (p.7).

Para Lambe, esta visión del conocimiento como contenido descontextualizado que es fundamentalmente un objeto que se transfiere de una persona a otra se sustenta en los siguientes mitos:

El mito de la reutilización:

the myth of reusability imagines a system of knowledge and learning components that can be combined and recombined in lots of different ways. Each “brick” has learning objectives and a test of understanding attached. All you do when you create a new programme is compile all the different pieces from the repository, and sequence them accordingly. The same objects can be used in lots of different courses, and in lots of different contexts, for lots of different types of people (p. 7).

El mito de la universalidad.

The assumption, in simple terms, is that the same piece of knowledge can be applied universally. It’s true, and relevant, everywhere (p. 8).

El mito de la posibilidad del intercambio.

When it comes to knowledge and learning, different knowledge or learning objects can be called for different learners at different times and in different situations (…) The building blocks slot into the same place and fulfil exactly the same function in a completely interchangeable way (p. 9).

El mito de la transmisión.

(…) once the knowledge is delivered, it has been successfully transferred (p. 11).

Lambe identifica estos mitos en elearning definido como la trasferencia tecnológica de contenidos de aprendizaje y en las ideas que sustentan la enseñanza a través de los objetos de aprendizaje.

Frente a esta concepción del conocimiento como objeto está la que considera el “knowledge emerging into action and experience – in a contingent, continually changing world” (p. 19). Aquí no se puede separar el conocimiento del contexto y de las circunstancias en las que emerge. En lugar de transferencia, se piensa en la creación de conocimiento a través de la interacción de las personas y en lugar de la importancia de cada pieza por separado se piensa en términos globales. De modo que el todo es más importante que las partes y éstas sólo tienen sentido en el todo que les da coherencia.

De todo esto extraigo algunas ideas a retener:

  • Conocimiento autista: conocimiento igual a contenido, unidades discretas de información archivada, descontextualizado, para emisores y receptores pasivos.
  • Superar la la idea del aprendizaje como transmisión de contenidos.
  • Hay que trabajar más en la creación de contextos significativos e interacciones relevantes que hagan posible que el conocimiento emerja.
  • Hay que conectar el conocimiento con aspectos relevantes del contexto y de las personas.

Un comentario en esta vieja entrada añadido el 21/03/15

A propósito de la idea de “conocimiento situado”. Este concepto es muy complejo y tiene muchas visiones diferentes. Aquí lo uso en el sentido de que todo conocimiento es producido en un contexto y permanece ligado a él limitando la posibilidad de que pueda ser transferido a otro contexto y seguir funcionando exactamente de la misma manera que lo hacía en el context original en el que fue producido.

Esto recogiendo ideas  para, de forma general, construir un marco de producción de conocimiento. En segundo término, y de manjera más específica, estoy tratando de articular una crítica de la idea de buenas prácticas en educación y de evidencia tal y como es usada en la “evidence-based education” que, sin negar negar el valor de la investigación, proponga un modelo de “evidencia situada” por analogía a la idea de “conocimieno situada” que he mencionado más arriba.