Friday, April 24, 2009
Bertram (Chip) Bruce, USA, All Sectors
I'm a Professor in Library & Information Science, Curriculum & Instruction, Bioengineering, the Center for Writing Studies, and the Center for East Asian & Pacific Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During 2007-08, I held a Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the National College of Ireland in Dublin.
My research goals include contributing to a conception of democratic education, meaning both the development of critical, socially-engaged citizens and of learning environments (schools, universities, libraries, museums, community centers, workplaces, ...), which are themselves democratic. Aspects of this work include research on community inquiry through collaborative community-based work, the theory of inquiry-based learning, drawing especially upon scholarship of the American pragmatists and the history of Progressive Education, and research on the affordances and constraints of new media for learning, encapsulated by the term technology-enhanced learning.
My background in computer science defines a continuing interest in the promise, as well as the perils, that information and communication technologies offer for understanding, representing, and transforming our lived experiences. Over time, that interest has led to explorations of a variety of questions regarding the nature of knowledge, democratic participation, community, technology, and literacy.
I’ve drawn from John Dewey’s theory of inquiry and the broader pragmatist tradition, including the work of Jane Addams, William James, Ella Flagg Young, and others, and perhaps most of all on studies situated in community action. Libr@ries bookSpecific questions include: (1) How can we understand learning and lived experience? (2) How does an ecological perspective on information and communication inform our understanding of individual, organizational, and societal growth? (3) How can an historical perspective inform research on learning, communities, and democratic development?
This work is discussed in recent books, including Libr@ries: Changing information space and practice (2006) and Literacy in the information age: Inquiries into meaning making with new technologies (2003), various articles, and presentations. It is enacted through many projects of the Community Informatics Initiative (which I co-founded with Ann Bishop), and in the development of computer systems to support collaboration and community action, such as Quill, the Inquiry Page, and Community Inquiry Labs (iLabs).
Thoughts about community, learning, and life.
A current major project is: Youth Community Informatics
Theme: community, Dewey, Addams, international, technology, social justice, democracy, history, inquiry-based learning, democratic education, social justice, new media