I love books. I read books for pleasure and for knowledge. When I need to understand something I tend to rely on book knowledge. I think this was the way I was originally taught to learn – episteme. To me the “new to me” term, episteme, means I have gained knowledge from the act of learning; tonight this learning came from reading an assigned article. I think reading is one arena where I am really comfortable learning. Another would be a classroom. These are structured environments. Teaching primarily math (as I do), like science, is a model of epistemology (I just googled this to determine if I have made up a new word – and I learned that I might have even used it appropriately). In math, there is the right answer and many wrong answers. I like this way of thinking. It is analytical. It’s where I am comfortable.
Today I think education is leaning toward my other newly learned term, phronesis. This term causes me to think harder as my Microsoft product underlines it with a red squiggle. Am I spelling it wrong? I have to now combine my book knowledge with some real life experience. Although I might have my book knowledge, I now have to construct meaning from my personal experiences - Microsoft isn't always correct. I have to apply my understanding as I resist letting Microsoft turn my new word into “prognosis”. This is what we are asking students to do in education when we ask them to practice phronesis – essentially we are asking them to trust what they know and not let spell check change their experiences. I think this is a good thing, “learning by doing” is the way I’m simplifying it for my analytical mind. Perhaps we are combining our book smarts with our common sense and equating it to the best of both worlds.