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Review of Islands of Expertise and Epistemic Frames

So what does this paper offer us?...

Lana Says:

While reading the Islands of Expertise paper, I found myself thinking about my project with Mark Guzdial that seeks to increase the number of women in computing. Perhaps, one of the reasons that we do have the imbalance is that parents often don’t recognize the initial interest in computing for girls. Thus a possible island of expertise does not get built. Christina and I ended up talking about possible ways to resolve this issue. Camps like ICE and the Dad-And-Me robotics workshop for Girl Scouts both to some degree help children and parents identify potential interests from which islands of expertise could grow. But are these programs in some way self-selecting (are the girls that are signing up for the robotics workshop already in the process of developing that island)?

The second thought that I found myself having while reading about islands of expertise is that their study group seems to concern mostly younger children. Is there an age at which the child becomes more likely to self-identify and self-develop and island of expertise? Does the role of the parent become secondary to that of teachers and peers? How can we design tools that would help older children identify and build islands of expertise?

I found myself really enjoying the epistemic frames paper and identifying with it. However, I do have a lot of questions about it. When does a skill/interest become general enough to be called an epistemic frame? For example, drawing (the art skill) could be seen as an epistemic frame because it informs how you see the world, the questions that you ask about it, and what kind of evidence you gather about it. However, the drawing frame is not necessary transferable (at least in any relevant fashion) to many other domains. Is drawing an epistemic frame (just not a particularly useful one)? Or is the ability to transfer the frame to other domains part of the definition of an epistemic frame?

I would love to read more about epistemic frames. Specifically, what interests me is how people may switch between frames in different situations. I am a visual artist, a programmer, a psychologist, a sci-fi aficionado, and a political activist. How do I decide which frame is the prominent one in a given interaction? How does the acquisition of new epistemic frames occur in the context of old ones? If you guys have recommendations for papers to read that may cover these questions, please post here…

Last modified 2 October 2006 at 6:52 pm by Lana