Friday, January 24, 2020

knowledge :: essays research papers

2.4 There can be differences between the knowledge people access through school and that they feel to be really useful. Interview two members of your family about their views of school knowledge and what they have found to be really useful for them. Drawing on the reading for this Unit, analyse these interviews and discuss how what factors might have impacted on their view of what constitutes really useful knowledge. The concept of knowledge in any society is a fluid, ever-changing notion which has different connotations depending on time and place. Typically what is thought of as knowledge in any given society is greatly influenced by the demands of the work that society most commonly carries out. Today, for example, in Western twenty-first century society it is claimed that we are now living in a ‘post-industrial’ society or have ‘entered into an information age’ and as such what we define as knowledge has altered in as little time as three decades. Knowledge can be gained independently at one’s own free-will or from life experiences but it is via school that nearly all of British people gain the foundations of their own personal knowledge. What makes education such an interesting subject for scholars is that it is governments who define what knowledge should be taught in schools and what knowledge is ‘useful’ despite what pupils themselves may think. For the purpose of this essay I have interviewed two former students who both studied in state schools in Edinburgh albeit a generation apart. I wish to analyse what both these individuals thought constituted ‘useful’ and ‘useless’ knowledge taught during their schools lives and if the fact that one was at school in the 1960’s and the other attended school in the late 1990’s/early 21st century resulted in any differentiation in their opinions. Knowledge at school can be taught in three ways; Academic knowledge, practical knowledge and radical knowledge. Each of these systems has their own unique method of delivering knowledge to the pupil and have varying degrees of ‘usefulness’. Academic knowledge could also be known as the ‘traditional’ form of delivering information to school pupils. Proponents of such methods would claim that it is not the actual information which academic knowledge presents to the pupil, rather the methods in which this information is delivered that is beneficial. In this sense then it could be claimed that academic knowledge is merely knowledge for knowledge’s sake or ‘useless’.

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