This paper reports on a study in which an interpretive systems-based approach to knowledge elicitation, the Appreciative Inquiry Method (AIM), is used to elicit and record the expertise of what is referred to as a 'knowledge guardian'. A 'knowledge guardian' is an individual who is a current repository and representative of some culturally-embedded knowledge which, for generations, has been passed on through teaching and apprenticeship, and continues to be so. Such knowledge is rich, complex and precious and merits protection. The knowledge guardian in this study is a Portuguese rider and teacher of Classical Dressage. His expertise relies heavily upon the ability to 'feel' and explain such feeling in his teaching. The view of Classical Dressage that emerges from the study emphasises the importance of the individual's psychological development and motivation to participate in the art due to a desire to experience 'brilliance'. The paper describes the process undertaken during the elicitation sessions and provides the models developed and used to facilitate the discussion. These models (Root Definition and Conceptual Model) are of the type commonly associated with Soft Systems Methodology. The paper also provides comments on the use of AIM, the knowledge recorded about Classical Dressage and the reflections of the two collaborators involved in the study.
- Appreciative Inquiry Method
- Soft Systems Methodology models
- ‘knowledge guardian’
- Classical Dressage