Carolyn has an interesting post about using vs. having when it comes to knowledge and how we teach.

And kicks everything off with a quotation that really registered with me.

“They say knowledge is power. We say the use of knowledge is power.”

Elliot Washor in The Big Picture by Dennis Littky

Short and to the point! That is the essence of what is wrong with the American education system!

We concentrate almost all our energy on the accumulation of information (with the ritual end-of-year recitation, aka standardized tests), instead of on learning to actually use it.

Carolyn goes on to make an excellent good point about how we process that data after collecting it.

In The Big Picture, Littky points out that learning is very personal. He also posits that the “real learning happens after” the encounter. “It’s what you do with it, how you integrate it, how you talk to your family, friends, and classmates about it” that constitutes the learning process.

Once again, I’m led to wonder if we give students enough time for that “learning after” process. I believe that we learn as things go on the “back burner” and we process them in the background, but in the rush for “new” lessons each day, do we allow enough room for reflection?

Of course, some people require more time on the “back burner” (I love that analogy!) than others.

But we don’t seem to acknowledge that fact until after they’ve left the K12 system.

BTW, I do have one gripe with Carolyn’s post. She’s added one more book to my growing pile of summer reading. :-)