Definition 1: Outcome of assimilation of information through learning. Knowledge is the body of facts, principles, theories and practices related to a field of study or work.
Comment: there are numerous definitions of knowledge. nevertheless, modern conceptions of knowledge rest broadly on several basic distinctions:
- Aristotle distinguished between theoretical and practical logic. in line with this distinction, modern theoreticians (Alexander et al., 1991) distinguish declarative (theoretical) knowledge from procedural (practical) knowledge. Declarative knowledge includes assertions on specific events, facts and empirical generalisations, as well as deeper principles on the nature of reality. Procedural knowledge includes heuristics, methods, plans, practices, procedures, routines, strategies, tactics, techniques and tricks (Ohlsson, 1994);
- it is possible to differentiate between forms of knowledge which represent different ways of learning about the world.Various attempts have been made to compile such lists, the following categories seem to be frequently represented:
– objective (natural/scientific) knowledge, judged on the basis of certainty;
– subjective (literary/aesthetic) knowledge judged on the basis of authenticity;
– moral (human/normative) knowledge judged on the basis of collective acceptance (right/wrong);
– religious/divine knowledge judged by reference to a divine authority (god).
This basic understanding of knowledge underpins the questions we ask, the methods we use and the answers we give in our search for knowledge; • knowledge encompasses tacit and explicit knowledge. Tacit knowledge (Polanyi, 1967) is knowledge learners possess which influences cognitive processing. However, they may not necessarily express it or be aware of it. Explicit knowledge is knowledge a learner is conscious of, including tacit knowledge that converts into an explicit form by becoming an ‘object of thought’ (Prawat, 1989).
Source: Cedefop, 2008; European Union.
Source: Cedefop (2014).Terminology of European education and training policy. Second Edition. A selection of 130 key terms. Luxembourg: Publications office of the European Union.
Definition 2: There are many definitions and forms of knowledge. It can be described as the body of concepts and factual information (data), including their interrelated
structures and patterns, concerning the natural and social environment as well as our understanding of the world, people and society, gained through learning and/or experience. Declarative knowledge points to ‘knowing what’ (e.g. factual knowledge), while procedural knowledge to ‘knowing how’, e.g. knowledge of specific functions and procedures to perform a complex process, task or activity. Other forms of knowledge often considered are tacit and explicit knowledge (see, for example, CEDEFOP 2011). The former is knowledge learners possess which influences cognitive processing; however, they may not necessarily express it or be aware of it. The latter is knowledge a learner is conscious of, including tacit knowledge that converts into an explicit form by becoming an ‘object of thought’.
Source: IBE(2013). Glossary of curriculum Terminology, IBE-UNESCO.
Definition 3: Knowledge refers to what a graduate knows and understands and it can be described in terms of depth, breadth, kinds of knowledge and complexity.
Source: AQF (2013). AQF Glossary of Terminology, Australian Qualifications Framework Second Edition.