My Concrete, Realistic, and Tasty Goal: For my networked learning project, I will create the best apple pie ever.
Last night while Skyping my parents, my mother laughed when I told her that this was my project. “Why didn’t you pick something hard, like tying a bow tie?” She then showed me the apple cranberry pie that she’d made that day. While this is a skill that is “easy as pie” for her, I’ve only made one pie in my life. So starting with a basic recipe, I will test out a number of variations to arrive at the best apple pie ever. I want a flaky crust, an apple filling that is sweet but not cloying, and a lattice crust. Perhaps most importantly, my mother will have a bite and be impressed.
Not only do I want to make (and eat!) the best apple pie ever, I want to develop an understanding of the processes behind it. I have the ability to follow a cookie recipe, but I am just executing a plan handed to me by experts. This quote from Gee rings true: “‘teachers’ in a sense dominate newcomers’ interpretations of what they are doing” (Gee 23). To develop my own understanding of how to make an apple pie, I will stay away from my baking gurus. I am not going to consult my sisters who used to update a cooking blog together, nor am I going to use my paid subscription at America’s Test Kitchen. Even though this process will take longer and won’t result in immediate success, I will be able to move beyond the learning that it takes to follow a recipe and build an understanding of how to make the best apple pie that I can transfer to other baked goods.
Bake one pie a week, testing variations of recipes found in help forums. In the final week, bake two pies, one using my recipe and one using the “expert” recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. (The link is here…but I won’t look yet, I promise!)
Here are the most viewed results from a search for “how to make an apple pie”:
Here are the only three useful forums from a search for “baking help forum” (there were more results for “video game baking” than actual baking!).
In this video I explain how I’m not truly “starting from scratch” and go over my background knowledge and initial questions about the different elements of baking the perfect apple pie – the Crust, Filling, Baking, and Appearance.
Gee, J. P. (2013, January 22). Humans learn from experience [Scholarly project]. InJames Paul Gee. Retrieved November 4, 2013, from http://www.jamespaulgee.com/sites/default/files/pub/Humans%20learn%20from%20experience.pdf
Bransford, J., Brown, A., & Cocking, R. (Eds.). (2000). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Retrieved from http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309070368