Skills vs. Knowledge in Education
Education systems all over the world are based on the idea that students get and remember information from teachers and books. These systems test this knowledge with standardized tests which compare students to each-other. They only test the kind of information which is possible to measure in tests. The goal is gaining information, not developing skills by which to use and make information. Unlike the old style of education where people remembered things in order to pass tests and get higher scores than other students, the modern world calls for a new kind of education in which the focus is deep understanding, creativity, and information management skills. Most education systems in the world are designed to make students remember things. One reason is that schools feel the need to compare students. They do this by giving tests. They want to be able to give grades and decide which students are smart and which are not. They function as a sorting mechanism for society. From the earliest grades, students are put on tracks that will decide their futures. Another reason schools like to make students remember things is that by doing so they will be able to test their knowledge and determine if they remember or not. They believe that if students remember things it is the same as understanding those things. Schools also like to impart knowledge because in this way, although students can have different individual skills, they can all have the same knowledge. Einstein said “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world” (Needle, 2007). All the knowledge in the world is useless unless you are able to use information in creative ways. Knowledge is what other people have created. Understanding is all about what you think about something. Everybody sees, hears, feels, and thinks differently. No two people in the world have the same understanding of the same thing. It is impossible to give...
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