Ratchet Head Pedagogy: A Narrative Autobiographical Inquiry about How We Learned to Customize and Tune Italian Motorcycles through Asynchronous Online Discussion

Ratchet Head Pedagogy: A Narrative Autobiographical Inquiry about How We Learned to Customize and Tune Italian Motorcycles through Asynchronous Online Discussion

Ann-Louise Davidson (Concordia University, Canada) and Sylvain Durocher (Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5206-4.ch012
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Abstract

This narrative autobiographical study is a tribute to do-it-yourselfers who have long worked on their own, patiently troubleshooting motorcycle-related problems often without having all the information or the parts at hand and frequently without having the proper skills to do so. The authors address a peculiar phenomenon that emerged at the same time as Web 2.0 technologies, deemed to be more social: the capacity for anyone to solve problems that would be otherwise impossible. The specific narratives looked at are the authors’ own experiences with Italian motorcycles and how they learned to customize and tune them through joining asynchronous online discussions. The authors present the context of the study, the theoretical framework inspired by Csikszentmihalyi, Foucault, Freire, Dewey, and Wenger, and the methodology. They make an effort to present the results sequentially so that the reader is given a good sense of their experience. The authors offer a discussion that shows the relationships between their experience and progressive concepts of education, which could be useful for the traditional educational system that is currently adrift.
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Conceptual Framework

In an attempt to provide some grounding to the autobiographical data we present later in the chapter, the conceptual framework we present here brings together the thoughts of several philosophers in an unconventional way.

When facing the challenge of integrating technology within learning environments and differentiating pedagogy, many educators hold two traditional arguments. First, technologies are pervasive and learners will stumble upon them sooner or later. There is no need to address this issue in school, because learners spend most of their lives using technologies and school has many other challenges to tackle. Second, school serves the purpose of delivering precise curriculum content each year until the learner is ready for higher education or for work and it is important to go through the curriculum thoroughly. Educators are often open to differentiated pedagogical practices, but in the end, they are primarily concerned with the content that has to be conveyed. While these two arguments are logical, they are founded in a traditional view of education, which strives to prepare children for the work force. However, this traditional view of education fails to give learners the skills they need to be free and to emancipate them from whatever is holding them back. Human beings need not only to be fed knowledge, but they need to pursue dreams and passions and to be able to maintain equilibrium between work and leisure among many other things as well (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975).

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