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How rather than What—to Think

  1. Jul 14, 2008 #1
    How rather than What—to Think

    “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” Socrates

    "To create the power of competence without creating a corresponding sense of moral direction to guide the use of that power is bad education." Unknown

    Our educational system is designed to teach us what to think; it is designed to do this in an efficient manner. It seems to fail often in the understanding aspect but does seem to inculcate us with “useful knowledge”.

    Our educational system helps us accumulate knowledge about our self and our world. But we are creatures who seek meaning and purpose for our life. How do we extrapolate from knowledge of important fundamental things to developing a meaningful life with purpose that will fill our natural need for self-esteem?

    I think that comprehension is a hierarchy and can be usefully thought of as like a pyramid. At the base of the comprehension pyramid is awareness, which is followed by consciousness (awareness plus attention). Knowledge follows consciousness and understanding is at the pinnacle of the comprehension pyramid. We are aware of many more things than we are conscious of and that sort of ratio follows all the way up to understanding at the pinnacle.

    Understanding is a far step beyond knowing and is significantly different from knowing. Knowledge seeks truth whereas understanding seeks meaning.
  2. jcsd
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