About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4421-4431
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain


B. Hill

Jacksonville University (UNITED STATES)
Apprentice learning is based on the belief that people learn by doing and by making mistakes. They learn in close, intimate contact with teachers who guide them and show them rather than tell them. Humans may learn in a variety of ways, but inherently they learn by doing, or more specifically, by failing, by trial and error, by making mistakes and correcting them. This is most apparent by watching a young child play a video game. Without fear, without direction, they jump in, not concerned with how often they fail, but focused only on reaching the goal of victory. They never complain of the need to repeat over and over the tasks necessary to gain their skills. They never allow bystanders and onlookers to deter their commitment. They focus on the game. They learn.

Truly engaged learning extends beyond the classroom and must encompass interaction in alternative environments; it is nonlinear and is most widely absorbed when connected to a narrative. Regardless of subject, embracing and integrating seemingly “unrelated” disciplines can build a sense of community to foster horizontal interaction. This deconstruction of traditional top down learning imbues a necessary self-direction. Chiefly, Students acquire deep learning when they are put in the position of the apprentice and they learn by doing under the guidance of a master.

Due to its craft aspects, the instruction in the arts has always taken on a more mentoring relationship between students and faculty. With a low student to teacher ratio it is quite easy to implement this type of instruction. But is this method transferable to other discipline and is it scalable? In short, yes, but it will require a complete shift in the paradigm of codified education models. It does not promote chunks of finite isolated information, delivered in a short period of time and objectively measured. It would require horizontal learning where varying level of students work side by side. It would require faculty to lead by example and foster interdisciplinary team teaching philosophies, which would consistently connect with student’s goals. Regardless, there needs to be a clear focus on students not subject, learning not teaching. All too often professors assume the responsibility of the tidy process of didactic, top-down instruction and the students are left to the messy process of learning. Exams, projects, grades are all a convenient way for colleges to certify that a standardized body of knowledge has been dutifully delivered, but is it serving the student? As industry demands increase, it will become increasingly more necessary to modify the traditional undergraduate curriculum into a pseudo-apprentice style of education.

To illustrate these concepts we will use the model of instruction in Computer Animation as a prototype and highlight three areas of fine arts and three specific case studies of applied apprentice learning each developed through industry-specific collaboration; The Nutcracker (recreating a Classic), Lyrical Light (a public art commission fused with glassblowing instruction), and The Helford Prize (the creation of an original theatrical play).

author = {Hill, B.},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4421-4431}}
AU - B. Hill
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 4421
EP - 4431
ER -
B. Hill (2009) ENTERED APPRENTICE: A FINE ARTS MODEL FOR LEARNING, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 4421-4431.