Knowledge: Informational or Transformational

The term knowledge is the most used and most misused. When we see somebody having good mastery over any subject we say he is a very knowledgeable person.

But it is very important to understand that blind assimilation and retention of concepts, theories and techniques is not knowledge. Knowledge is not informational but transformational.

Same applies to religion; memorizing without application will lead a person nowhere. If our vast understanding of science or religion has made us arrogant; hardens our hearts and makes us judgemental, then we have only information, not knowledge.

Having done courses on moral education, religious education and personality development through prime institutes of the globe has no meaning if that is not bringing a change in our behaviour, thoughts and actions.

If sadness, misery and pain of others doesn’t melt our heart and evoke mercy and empathy in us then we are just stuck at informational level.

Humanity doesn’t  need walking encyclopaedias. Same way if a teacher has a good mastery over subject matter but is unconcerned about the psychosocial and  moral life of students, then he/she cannot be called a good/ knowledgeable teacher.

A knowledgeable teacher is not the one who clears all doubts and queries of students but the one who make students ask good questions. Knowledgeable teacher is one who encourage students to open the doors and windows of their mind and make them think and question the validity of concepts and theories.

Theoretically a teacher may be well versed with tens of theories and techniques of emotional intelligence, social intelligence , organisational behaviour and leadership but that cannot be called knowledge until a teacher is in position to know and control his/her emotions and capable to understand and interpret emotions of others.

Mere conceptual clarity of social intelligence will lead a teacher no where until he/she is able to understand and align well with the demands of society; he/she should have a mastery over social cohesion, social connectedness and be able to make a social contribution and instil the same values among students.

Likewise a doctor may have MBBS, MD or DM from the most prestigious medical institute of the globe. His diagnosis or treatment regime may be par excellence; but he cannot be called a knowledgeable doctor until he/she is in a position to empathise and relate well with his patients.

A knowledgeable doctor is the one who take psychosocial, economic, regional and cultural aspects of patients in consideration when starting a treatment.

Knowledgeable persons don’t chase information or believe everything in print. They  exercise their mind and seek empirical evidence. They have high critical thinking. They don’t get tempted by the lofty titles of self help books.

They don’t take the anecdotes presented in self help books about the efficacy as divine revelation. We see the title first, they see the author first. They ascertain whether the author is the real professional of the field or just a one in the blind race of self-publishing.

Takeaway: There is a flood of information and degree holders but not all deserve to be called knowledgeable. As parents, teachers, employers, religious preachers and researchers let’s work towards building a knowledgeable society rather than just informational. Knowledgeable are the persons with vision and mission, who think above themselves and who mobilize others for change.

They know how to heal the emptiness in their souls. Knowledge is the balm that the bruised humanity needs. As goes the saying, Knowledge is not power but potential power. It has power to make wonders only when executed/ translated into action.

If educational institutes fail to develop decision making, problem solving, morality, emotional intelligence, social intelligence, spiritual intelligence and critical thinking of students then our society will always remain stuck at informational level.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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