Archive for October 20th, 2013

October 20, 2013

Who Is Afraid of Knowledge?

“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” 

There. I said it. And yes, I know, “progressive” educators will quickly dismiss this as being an “elitist”, “traditionalist” or whatever you want to call it, claim. My questions…

Have you ever met a creative person or a critical thinker who did not possess knowledge? I haven’t. Pseudo-experts abound. On TV, in newspapers, online.

Do you think any of the geniuses that are used as icons in discourses about creativity was an ignorant? Read their biographies. They had vast knowledge not only in their domain but also in others.

Have you ever met people who seemed to be experts in a topic or field just to realize later in the conversation (or interaction) that they only had surface knowledge and the dialogue was deviated to hide these gaps? And you couldn’t further debate or build on an idea *because* they lacked knowledge you had assumed they had? I have met a lot of them. Even educators – who had no idea who Vygotsky, Dewey, Pestalozzi, Freire were, or what children’s stages of psychological development are. And I am not saying this in a condescending tone – but as an observation. The reasons behind this ignorance are diverse and many are understandable (one being irrelevant professional development forced upon teachers).

Back to my statement:

Knowledge of facts is critical to building understanding. In-depth understanding.

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