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The Four Forms of Knowledge and Formats for Teaching Each Kind

Everything that can be taught, learned, and stored (in language, music, painting, sculpture, and other representative media) is one or another of four forms of knowledge---

1.   Concepts:  the cognitive (thinking) organization of reality into categories, or kinds of things that share certain similarities. The class of housecats.  The class of things that have it pretty easy, laying around and licking themselves. The class of felines. The class of mammals. The class of animals.  The class of living beings.

2.   Facts:  statements (subject-predicate) about the features of individual things that are examples of concepts. Everything is an example of one, usually more than one, concept---at the very least, the concept of “thing.”  “James Madison was the fourth president.”  He was in the class of presidents as well as a member (example) of the class of things that wear pants, things that ride horses, things that write amendments, things that are male, etc.

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Waking Dream

Waking Dream

I have been trying vainly to figure out what’s the story with Edland. Consider some puzzling features that require figuring out.

1.The core words in the argot of Edland (Edubabble), by which Edlanders conduct business (of transforming their words into countless materials, programs, and activities), are meaningless. They have no empirical referent; you look but nothing is there.

Learning styles.  [No such thing.]

Multiple intelligences.  [Another word for talents.]

Holistic.  [Whatever you want it to mean.]

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Knowledge Analysis Part I, or Finding Out Exactly What You Must Teach

Knowledge Analysis Part I


In this entry we’ll focus on how to find: (1) exactly what new knowledge students must learn---so you can design instruction that will clearly communicate the new information, and (2) what pre-skills (background knowledge) students need, so that they will understand what you are talking about and will learn the new information.  Here’s a guideline for effective instruction.


Don’t Assume Your Students Know Anything.

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What is Knowledge? How Do You Get It? And What Does THAT Tell You About How to Design Instruction?

What Teaching Is—Applied Logic

Teaching is in the branch of philosophy called epistemology. ἐπιστήμη [epistemeh]--knowledge. λόγος [logos]--study of. What branch of epistemology? Applied logic. What is logic?

                  A branch of philosophy and mathematics that deals with the formal principles, methods and criteria of
validity of inference, reasoning and knowledge. Let’s look at those three words.

1. Inference. Generalizations that are the product of reasoning.

a.   Inductive reasoning. Start with events--specifics. The teacher holds up objects that differ in size and shape, but are the same in one way, and for each one she says, “This is kokkivo.” [Gr. v = nnn] Then she juxtaposes objects that are the same in size and shape, but that differ in one way---color. She calls one of them, “This is kokkivo,” and she calls the other one “This is not kokkivo.” At each step in the communication, the learning mechanism performs a logical operation---a reasoning step.

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