David Didau has just posted a very interesting blog on just this question. He argues that yes, understanding is actually the very same thing as knowledge; to say that you know something is exactly the same as saying you understand it.
Now I can hear one thousand voices screaming ‘No! No! No!’ and arguing back saying that just because you know that, or can parrot that, 6×7=42 does not mean that you understand it. At all. QED. Such is the absolute aversion in education to ‘meaningless’ or ‘disembodied’ or ‘dry’ or ‘shallow’ retention of facts as opposed to ‘deep’ understanding, that our automatic rebuttal mode is activated.
But please let me explain.
What does it mean to understand 6×7=42? I would suggest it means knowing lots of other things too and connecting them together. For example, knowing that 6×7 can be expressed pictorially as an array.
Knowing that 6×7 can…
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