Kōmako Quilters’ informal learning and the collective zone of proximal development: The ‘5x5 quilt’ project

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This article discusses the informal learning processes of a quilting community, located in Aotearoa New Zealand, as participants engage in a collaborative textile project. Few studies have investigated everyday quilters’ collective learning processes, even though communal quiltmaking has been undertaken over the centuries. The concept of zone of proximal development (zpd) is extended as a ‘collective zone of proximal development’ where people are doing something together. This ethnographic study views quiltmaking as a sociocultural activity, and emphasizes the situated nature of knowing within a community-based setting. Research methods reveal the explicit and tacit dimensions of the quilters’ meaning making. During the fieldwork, flexibility and reflexivity are required to overcome ethical issues as they arise. The guided participation is revealed through the quilters’ interactions as they participated in their collaborative activity. Learning sequences present episodic details of the way these interactions are constructed and developed. The quilters actively seek to increase opportunities for learning and for sharing skills and knowledge through participation partnerships involving multi-way collaborations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Art & Communities
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)67-82
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences

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