The distinction between knowledge and understanding
June 28th, 2018
In the future and indeed right now, there is only learning. It is said that teachers are a dime a dozen but students are hard to come by. In the culture of learning, the definition of traditional roles and disciplines will be superseded by a broader definition of capabilities. This takes advantage of inherent creativity that is so often stifled by an imposed framework of how that creativity might be manifest. In the future, content is only important in the context of exploration and at the service of solutions. It is animated by a process of open exchange, typically what we call collaboration.
This is the distinction between knowledge and understanding. Knowledge is the content which we acquire. It can be remembered and utilized. However it’s value is exponentially increased when it is lived. Understanding is literally standing under the animation of this knowledge. It is then hardwired to the search for what is truly needed. So often the problem we have is that our knowledge is independent of or tangential to a deeper understanding of how it might serve these needs which are so often poorly understood.
So it is, in fact, “not knowing” that opens the door to a deeper understanding of how we might join in the collective effort to meet the real challenges of our world today.