How “Wonder Springs From Knowledge”

Dorothy S. Bass


05.01.22How “Wonder Springs From Knowledge”

Yesterday: a profoundly misguided article in the Guardian claiming that schools should stop weighing kids down with knowledge and set them free in a world of problem solving. Misguided because you can’t think critically about things you don’t have knowledge about- which almost proves the point. You write misguided articles about learning when you don’t know the science of learning.

Today: excellent follow up by the always excellent Adam Boxer:

This resonated with me massively. It’s the thing people who are skeptical of knowledge understand least. Giving kids the knowledge to think about things isn’t boring but inspiring. It lights the room on fire.

See for example this video of the amazing Christine Torres teaching vocabulary.

Notice what she does here. Instead of asking kids to guess at the word ‘caustic,’ she simply tells them what it means. She starts by giving them knowledge and facts. But then she asks them to apply their knowledge to solve problems and to think about what they now know. And look at how the respond. They love it! They could not be any happier. In part because the playing field is leveled. Fun interesting questions are asked that everyone can attempt to answer because they have the knowledge to engage.

Wonder, as Adam beautifully put it, springs from knowledge.

adam boxer, Christine Torres, Knowledge


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