Sometimes ‘Just Knowing’ Is Enough

3-Star learning experiences

Paul A. Kirschner & Mirjam Neelen

Sometimes there are heated debates, both online and offline, discussing if in education or learning we should first strive for understanding before teaching and learning the mechanics.

In this blog, we discuss a few examples to show that sometimes you really don’t need to understand something for it to be useful to you. Knowing is sometimes – or even often – enough. We’ve written about this before when we blogged about the usefulness of useless knowledge. Now, just take a few minutes to read through the examples and whenever you design a lesson, training, learning experience etcetera next time, think of how this applies in your specific context.

Back in school, we both learned that pi (π) was ‘equal’ to 3.14 or 22/7 and that both of these were just approximations. Along the same lines, we also learned that we could calculate the…

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