that is, it resides in someone’s mind. Second, given this per-sonal attachment, knowledge appears more difficult to detachthan information. It’s harder, for example, to pick up, writedown, and transfer than information. Third, one reason knowl-edge may be so hard to give and receive is that it seems to beacquired more through assimilation. Knowledge is somethingwe digest rather than merely hold; it’s usually deeply inter-twined with the knower’s understanding of the practices sur-rounding its use. When we look at teaching beyond the mere delivery of infor-mation, we see a rich picture of learning, one that embracesthe social context, resources, background, and history withinwhich information resides. Knowledge, following MichaelPolanyi, can be thought of as having two dimensions: explicitand tacit.
If we think of knowledge as a tree, the explicit di-mension is like the leaves, branches, and trunk—the partsabove ground. The tacit dimension is like the roots buried be-low the surface and deeply immersed in the soil that makes itrobust. The explicit lives in books and in our brains as con-cepts and facts and deals with the “know-
.” The tacit dealswith the “know-
” that is best manifested in work practicesand skills. The tacit resides in action, most often in participa-tion with others. As a consequence, tacit knowledge can bedistributed as a shared, socially constructed understandingthat emerges from collaboration.Learning by doing with others offers students the opportu-nity for in-depth enculturation into a particular practice, where
66the internet and the university