How To Transfer Knowledge
I read a book 20 years ago, I loved it and consequently, it changed my whole life from going to “hell” to having a purpose.
Yes, it is/was a life changer.
Recently, I started to read it again and here comes the whopper, I didn’t even understand half of it.
I read the book and constantly “evaluated” the text, “created” what I thought the writer must really mean, “analysed” it against my own sense of reasoning and “understood” bits and bobs like isolated nuggets; or were they rusty scraps?
Interestingly enough my retention level, which was generally speaking poor, was actually quite high for the data in the book and this is partially due to the fact that I had a chance to apply many parts of the text.
We won’t go here into detail about what I applied (!) but suffice to say, I stopped using much of it and it’s worth adding that even practicing did NOT help to correct my earlier misunderstandings.
If you look at Bloom’s taxonomy (classification) you see that remembering is at the bottom and is kind of the entry level, the first level – we tend to focus on – but as you can see in the above scenario, a learner deploys “higher” level thinking to compensate for the lower level problem in “understanding.”
We know what “confirmation bias” means right? but if you look over my thinking process from the above, then it appears to be really a creative, evaluative method after analysing something that wasn’t understood in the first place to make it fit at least with one’s thinking; never mind the author’s intention.
The stress is on “at least.”
I didn’t fail on remembering but failed on “understand” and made up this shortcoming by deploying an abundance of higher level thinking. Interesting, methinks!
Just of the cuff, I think understanding is actually the top level and should be, as it is primarily the goal of all learning, study etc.
I want to understand my fellow man accurately and not be too creative in what I want him to be.
Creativity, is key but is it furthered by any of those points stated? – I don’t think so and my thought is this, I can be very creative – see above example – and yet have no clue on the subject matter.
Creativity is an independent ability of our mind and is merely less strongly expressed but nevertheless fully developed in all of us.
Creativity might be expressed by one person as a whole big painting and the next person as a scribble. Who is to tell which one is more creative?
This is a bit of sidelight and me thinking aloud but let me ask you to inspect the following:
“Understanding” and “Remembering”
The problem with “remembering” is that it is unqualified data. At first glance, there is nothing special here but when I look at the example of memorizing the wrong data – the made-up personal version – then I see it as problematic because it entered my thinking process as “true” data and I couldn’t detect it thereafter.
It is only years later when I used a new learning method to detect these problems did I find I was a most creative reader!
From the above personal example, I could really see what learners struggle with; a way to detect when they begin to alter source data to fit their own thinking because they didn’t understand it in the first place.
This is crucial to recognise when learning how to transfer knowledge from one mind to another.
The only time you need to change data is when you don’t understand it; when people do understand they usually do not reject or alter it but accept and make the new knowledge usable.
Let me know what you think, leave your comments below.