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The Path to Mastery

Whether I am trying to set an experience in writing or image or trying to figure out how to repair a laser cutter, I use the same sets of skills.  I love tools of all kinds but the real tools are mental ones.  By methodically building models of how things work in terms of visualization, kinesthetic and material properties, mapping the structures of software and the requirements upon hardware are fundametally the same as doing improvisational theater, writing poetry, performing an original song or designing a small machine for 3D printing, we make mental models and work with them towards mastery.  

Mastery experiences are not explainable beforehand, they must be experienced first.  In every discipline I have seriously explored, this has always been the case.  Imagination , empathy, and anticipation begin the process but it is the experience and repetition of the process that forge deeper understandings.  Practice does make it easier to take on new disciplines or languages but as we get better within a discipline, the problems get harder.  This is where mastery mindsets meet collaboration.

Anecdotally, we all know collaboration is the best long-term approach.  Few of us have been trained in practices to help us do this with expertise and skill.  This is where the ideas of Seymour Papert and many others who worked before and in parallel.  When we make models of our understandings, we can share them.  When we put our ideas out in the world, we can improve them together across space and time.  Combining mastery with collaboration takes the mystery out of transformative creativity.  This is why Maker Education is both the new Big Idea and among the oldest of the old fundamentals.

For this reason. a combination of arts, sciences, design methodologies, and technology become a boot camp for what comes next as the 21st Century unfolds.

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