Why Bricoleur?

The simplest answer is because that is how I would describe myself, and there don't seem to be any better words in english.

According to pages found through google's glossary (where else would one turn?), "bricoleur" is:

A French word with no exact English equivalent used as a term by Seymour Papert to describe the style of approach exemplified by a tinkerer or a jack of all trades. Bricoleurs are comfortable in unfamiliar realms of learning and experience because they learn best by using indirect connections to known information, even if the details of the skills are not exactly related. They try things out until they figure out how to do something.

Courtesy of the Tech Learning Link Glossary. Also check out the google glossary entry for bricolage

I first heard of this characterization of what I think is my approach to learning from Sherry Turkle's great book The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit .

In our post-DMCA world the positive benefits of being able learn through tinkering is a hot topic. Ed Felton's excellent web log called "Freedom to Tinker" and the Yale web log called "LawMeme: Legal Bricolage for a Technological Age" are but two examples.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually, bricoleur is a French word introduced by the French cultural anthropologist and philospher Claude Levi-Strauss in 1962. It means one who engages in bricolage, creating things from whatever is present at the moment, whether it be a physical object (e.g. a tool or device) or a thought or abstract creation (e.g. a treatise, etc.)