Sunday, November 10, 2013

4. Learning from other communities of inquiry

There are a number of works on epistemology —as philosophy of science— and on general theory of knowledge —or gnoseology, as known in some Latin-derived cultures— that have been very significant on my research. For example, Ernst Cassirer’s works study knowledge as a philosophical problem and its implications on the development of human culture:

- The Problem of Knowledge.

- The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms: Vol. 3: The Phenomenology of Knowledge.

- An Essay on Man: An Introduction to a Philosophy of Human Culture.

The philosophical perspectives predominate over strictly scientific perspectives in Cassirer’s works. I have found a more balanced treatment between philosophy and science in Mario Bunge’s two volumes on epistemology:

- Philosophy of Science: From Problem to Theory.

- Philosophy of Science: From Explanation to Justification.

Introductory works more on the side of strictly scientific perspectives that I have found very helpful are:

- What Is This Thing Called Science? by Alan F. Chalmers.

- Scientific Method in Practice by Hugh G. Gauch Jr.

- Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science by Peter Godfrey-Smith.

Then, there is this contemporary scientist, Rupert Sheldrake, who —as Paul Feyerabend in his own time— presents quite intriguing, or even interesting, arguments that shake popular understanding of scientific thought in his work:

- Science Set Free: 10 Paths to New Discovery, USA Edition.

- The Science Delusion, UK Edition.

Among the first works that indirectly pushed me to all the mentioned readings was this:

- Testing Computer Software, 2nd Edition by Cem Kaner, Jack Falk, Hung Q. Nguyen.

All this, and the following works by Donald A. Schön, has led me to pursue the development of what I have called a Reflective Developer Program, as a contribution to better professionalism in software development. A reflective developer is someone who tries to realize how thin her received piece of jam really is, and tries to make it thicker.

- The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think In Action.

- Educating the Reflective Practitioner: Toward a New Design for Teaching and Learning in the Professions.

The Reflective Developer Program is intended to be a personal research journey to better understanding of professionalism in computing. Given the philosophical problem of knowledge and The Law of Raspberry Jam, I think that teaching and learning in our profession need to be rethought. Therefore, after studying the following works, I have found that dialog and discussion among practitioners is the appropriate thing to do.

- Turning Learning Right Side Up: Putting Education Back on Track by Russell L. Ackoff, Daniel Greenberg.

- Up and Out: Using Critical and Creative Thinking Skills to Enhance Learning by Andrew P. Johnson.

- Discussion as a Way of Teaching: Tools and Techniques for Democratic Classrooms by Stephen D. Brookfield, Stephen Preskill.

- Developing Critical Thinkers: Challenging Adults to Explore Alternative Ways of Thinking and Acting by Stephen D. Brookfield.

No comments:

Post a Comment