Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Thinking is knowing is thinking [Article]

Nicholas Carr quotes psychologist Daniel Willingham:
It’s hard for many people to conceive of thinking processes as intertwined with knowledge. Most people believe that thinking processes are akin to those of a calculator. A calculator has available a set of procedures  (addition, multiplication, and so on) that can manipulate numbers, and those procedures can be applied to any set of numbers. The data (the numbers) and the operations that manipulate the data are separate. Thus, if you learn a new thinking operation (for example, how to critically analyze historical documents), it seems like that operation should be applicable to all historical documents, just as a fancier calculator that computes sines can do so for all numbers.
 During the K – 12 years, developing a solid store of knowledge is essential to learning how to think. There’s still no substitute for a well-furnished mind.