Monday, January 25, 2010

Cooks and Chefs

I've been asked to justify some of my practice in terms of the learning model adopted. This is a task I find unexpectedly hard, and I draw the following flawed analogy.

The culinary arts website indicates that the primary difference between Cooks and Chefs is that Cooks may also be expected to work on construction sites and in logging camps, however I would make the following distinction.

A cook will follow a recipe. We refer in chemistry to "cookbook chemistry" when we wish to imply that doing the experiment is just a purely routine matter of following the written instructions. Again, we expect technical texts such as the The IC op amp Cookbook, the Camera Cook book etc. to provide step by step instructions to achieve a given end.

A chef on the other hand is expected to be innovative, to bring together their knowledge of a wide variety of recipes to produce something new, something novel, something which is better than that which has gone before. Even if throwing together a simple omelet at the end of the night for what remains of the kitchen staff, the chef will not follow a recipe but will rather take whatever's there and produce an optimum result 90 seconds later.

I'm a chef. I serve up a succulent confection of androgogy confected with behaviorism and structuralism, with just a soupcon of teaching as drama.

If that doesn't work, then 90 seconds later I'm scouring the literature for more leftovers.

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