May 5, 2009


The following article by the philosopher AC Grayling appeared in The Guardian on Saturday:

Knowledge and genius

I think it makes some very valid points which are relevant to education and particularly so with respect to the training of professionals.

In the article, Grayling states:

there is no automatic connection between knowledge and intelligence“.

I agree wholeheartedly with this. Simply being able to reel off facts isn’t proof of ability to perform a task. Yet there is too much reliance on rote learning  in my own profession where trainees are required to learn masses of facts when studying for their professional qualifications, while there is very little testing of their ability to apply the knowledge to solving problems.

An enormous amount of information available to us in the modern world – and it continues to expand exponentially. It is not only unrealistic to expect a professional to absorb and remember a mass of facts, it is, in my opinion, poor practice. It is more important to know how and where to locate information than to memorise it – and then to be able to use it to analyse and solve problems.


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