Knowing and Doing: Are They Different?
At this very moment, when the economic inequity has perhaps reached an hitherto unsurpassed peak, it makes sense to revisit the Knowing-Doing dualism and see whether that indeed is the source of the problem. The case is not just for an activist education, but also a call for knowledge economies to be more directly connected, and therefore, be more relevant to real life. And, indeed, the Internet plays a part, but fundamentally altering the principles of access to and currency of knowledge, which presents an unique opportunity to create new models of knowing-doing.
The education system I am working to promote is one where knowing and doing are not two different activities, but one and the same. This is about having an approach to learning, so that one absorbs and learns from everything happening around him/her, and does so not by withdrawing from real life but being in it. The knowledge in this process are not in content but in the process of living. And, indeed, quite frequently, I get told that what we learn from experience is not the kind of deep knowledge that we can get through engagement with books and literature and under guidance from a learned person.
But, as I claim, such dichotomy is false and perpetuated to maintain the models of social power, which allows some kind of knowledge to be arbitrarily defined as a higher form of knowledge than others. Indeed, one can engage with culture, as the above suggestion really point to, without having to do it in a form disconnected from life. It is rather engaging with life, rather than withdrawing from it, one can discover a culture - a living-breathing one, rather than something ossified. Learning from experience is not a quick fix - this argument is not to propagate an easy route to learning - and neither it is just restricted to unthinking enterprise. Rather, it is an invitation to think in action, to engage with mind, to create and to challenge the caste system of thinking and work that keep better ideas from emerging.