Thursday, November 4, 2010

Goals for education today

I found this somewhere floating through the internet.  Sadly I cannot remember where - which certainly means I am not a knower entirely.

“In times of change the learners will inherit the earth, while the knowers will find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. ” –Eric Hoffer

That said, I am not sure I entirely agree, there are things that we need to know.  Multiplication tables come to mind, languages follow closely.  Mathematics skills, reading and writing.  Poetry, geography and history. 

We need a certain world knowledge that we carry around in our heads.  We cannot forever google it to find out, there lies ignorance.

That said, knowers who cannot learn sit on a shelf like an outdated encyclopedia gathering dust and being ignored - one hopes.

As usual, something somewhere in the middle falls into what is most useful, no?


Anonymous said...

The learners invent new things, the knowers hopefully have learned from their mistakes. you're right, if you stop learning you're toast
Sea Dog

elpadawan said...

actually, wouldn't an obsessive googler be neither a learner nor a knower? I mean, if you have to even use google to do calculations (yes, it's possible), chances are you're not learning them... If you consider that all "learners" are also "knowers" (Once you learn something, you know it), then the quote suggests that "knowers" are the ones who "stopped learning", meaning they can't adapt to the changes. So I would say the quote is spot on.

oreneta said...

Sea Dog, you are indeed optimistic about knowers anyway!

ElP, they would have to know how to google for a basic skill level. Pretty darned basic, but still....and I have to say that the assumption that once you learn something you know it is a little generous. I don't know how often I have 'learned' the 17 odd forms of 'it' in Catalan, and I still don't really know them. Though you could argue that I haven't learned them if I still can't use them. You could argue that fairly strongly in fact, but then we are getting into an etymological debate about what learning vs. knowing is.....which could breed another post in fact.

While we do instinctively understand the difference, there are a few fuzzy lines in there still.

That said, I do agree that the basic meaning of the quote is pretty spot on.

J.G. said...

Being both is the best, I think. I had an interesting experience today with a lady who simply refused to try and learn a new skill. It was basic math, really, and she seemed to get intentionally baffled ("I'll never understand that"), then sat back and did nothing while the rest of the group figured out the solution. We tried to help her keep up, then left her behind so we could solve the problem. She neither knew it nor learned it--sad for her.