Knowing with New Media
Bricolage – Kincheloe and Berry's approach
Kincheloe and Berry (2004) build on Lévi-Strauss' concept of bricolage by articulating it as a critical constructivist praxis (p. 2). Kincheloe proposes to see bricolage as an interdisciplinary dynamic approach that offers the potential of pushing into 'a new conceptual terrain' and 'epistemological innovation' in addressing the complexity of the world. To Kincheloe the whole acceptance of bricolage into the knowledge-production methodology amounts to its conduciveness in facilitating the complexity of life.
Kathleen Berry's (2004) contribution to knowledge-construction with bricolage is the development of its practical application. Berry engineered the bricolage strategy based on a non-linear system adopted from chaos theory. The concept is also known as the Lorenz attractor and sometimes referred to and visualised as 'owls' eyes' or 'butterfly wings'. In Berry's model, an attractor is a point of entry text (POET) to the research project. It is a symbol that signifies the focus of the project. This can be a photo, a sentence, or any other material object that stimulates interest within a given learning task. Starting from this point, the knower-bricoleur ‘threads’ through the relevant areas in feedback loops with increased amplitude.
The Ripples model adapts Berry's strategic blueprint, but prefers the term 'anchor' instead of 'attractor', as semantically 'anchor' is linked to the notion of divergence convergence. This concept recognises the elasticity of diverging far-from-equilibrium and converging into self-organisation through regulated, ongoing feedback. Thus, the process distills knowledge in coherence with the anchored goal.
In the Ripples, an attractor/anchor is a bricole presented in the form of alphabetic text, image, audio/video recording or animation. An anchor can be explicitly articulated in the form of a question or problem. It also can be a tacit entity, embodied in the subtext of words, images, audio/video elements or movements.
The multimodality and 'multilogicality of the bricolage demands not only new forms of research but undermines the very structure of education as
it now exists'.
Joe L Kincheloe &
Kathleen S Berry
Francesco Lanzara &
Leslie P. Willcocks
William E. Doll
Dolls Model of Postmodern Curriculum
Retrieved September, 2018
For example, if a given learning task is about animal communication, the knower as an owner of a dog or a cat can choose to investigate how these animals communicate with humans or between each other.
A photograph of the pet(s) is taken as an anchor of the study. The study starts with an interpretation of the behaviour seen in the photo. The process of meaning-making provokes the formation of questions. In answering the questions, depending on the knower's interest and age-group, they can go as far as learning about animals' genetic predispositions; discerning their needs and the strategies of how they overcome the challenges of life. The knower can focus on the uniqueness of the animals' basic behaviour such as eating, sleeping, locomotion, territorial protection and relation to the owner. They can concentrate on comparing the habits of domesticated dogs and cats with the behaviour of their wild correlates and so forth. These divergent loops into related areas of study inform the knower's approaches for designing their own methods of knowledge-production.
They assist in the development of critical thinking based on exercising skills of questioning and verifications enriching the study with reliability and validity.