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Posts Tagged ‘theory’

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Uploaded by :: SL Emerick

 Most of formal education is still focused on knowledge acquisition.  But there really has been a dramatic change in the last 50 to 100  years which makes this less important.  First, there’s been an explosion in knowledge.  You can know something about most things but it’s difficult to know a lot about everything.  Take the example of medicine.  There is now so much to know that a generalist has to turn patients over a specialist because they don’t know enough to treat you and often times diagnose you.

How about music.  I remember when most people knew all the popular tunes.  There just weren ‘t that many.  Now there are almost as many types of music as their were songs.  “Name that tune” is a lot harder than it used to be.  This goes on subject after subject, topic by topic. 

Take the champions on Jeopardy.  All you have to do to throw them off is give a lot of questions about popular culture or things out of their generation.  You could also take something like history and ask questions from out this country such as Nigerian leaders of the 20th century. 

Second in the past, this information wasn’t readily available so if you didn’t learn it, you were out of luck.  Now on almost any topic, you have instant access to information.  The emphasis switches from knowing to being able to find.  So what this suggests is a different paradigm in education.

I know in the corporate world this is a shift from knowing to doing.  As your boss, I really don’t care what you know, I care about what you can do.  If there isn’t an application of knowledge, it has very little value in this setting.

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