The Knowledge Management Research Group

Knowledge preacher/coach/plumber


Interpretation: This pattern is coherent with the Requested-Preacher/Learner-Rights pattern discussed above. The knowledge-preacher is a kind of pedagogical knowledge (re)source, who is driven by fascination and evaluated on the quality of the given answers.

The knowledge-coach nurtures and supports the evolving questions of the learners. This knowledge strategist concentrates on methodology and is evaluated on the quality of the raised questions. The knowledge-coach works to enhance this quality and assists the learners in developing their own personal learning strategies for obtaining relevant answers.

When a knowledge-coach is unable to answer a question, he or she proudly acknowledges this fact and transmits the question to the available network of knowledge-preachers. If this still doesn't lead to a satisfying answer, the knowledge-plumber takes over and works to establish a meaningful contact with some other knowledge-preacher - thereby ensuring a forum for discussion that prevents the question from getting lost. Hence the knowledge-plumber creates opportunity for learning, and can therefore also be described as a knowledge broker. The performance quality of a knowledge-plumber is measured in terms of the number and the quality of lost questions.

In summary, the knowledge-coach tries to encourage the formulation of fruitful questions, the knowledge-plumber tries to makes sure that as few of them as possible are lost, and the knowledge-preacher tries to answer them in a way that stimulates further studies of the concepts involved.

The same physical person can perform several (or even all) of these knowledge roles. However, considering the rapidly increasing demands that are being made for more education, most probably there will not be enough of such 'super-teachers' that can be physically present in the physical environment of the learners. The presence production system of the KM architecture offers the possibility of distributing these knowledge roles across physical space, and make use of cyberspace as an electronic switchboard that can achieve an effective match between learner interest and teacher knowledge and communicative ability. This will provide support for teachers that want to transform their present role as knowledge-filters ("you should learn what I know") and assume the role of knowledge-coach ("I will help you find out what you want to know").

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