What Kinds of Things Are There to Know?

If the goal of school is to get students to know things, then we need to understand something about what knowledge looks like. What kinds of knowledge are there?

Consider the relationship between the following sentences:

What it means to "know" is different in each of these sentences. Knowledge can be broken down into distinct types: facts (Sacramento, Mary's appearance), cases (the stories we know), skills (engine repair, batting), and processes (running for office). We often get confused when talking about what we know because it is difficult to say exactly what it is we know about cases, skills, and processes. We often end up concentrating on facts because it's easy to state the facts we know.

In real life, however, it's almost always more important to know cases, skills, and processes than it is to know facts, but these types of knowledge are typically left out of accounts of what we want children to know. Why? Because such things are not easily assessed.

We must be careful not to avoid teaching kinds of knowledge because they are difficult to assess. Even a quick look at today's system shows that the it overemphasizes facts, under emphasizes skills, and grossly neglects such processes as communication and human relations.

Next Story Types of Knowledge

Outline Where am I in the content of the book?

Give Me An Example

Give Me Alternatives

What Is Next

What Led To This?

What Should Be Avoided?

What Can Be Done?

Give Me Details

Give Me Background

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