The importance of learning facts

A great article on Radio NZ earlier this week highlights the importance of knowledge as a foundation for learning. Dr Jared Cooney Horvath was interviewed by Kathryn Ryan on RNZ about the learning process which occurs in 3 steps, starting with knowledge.

All learning has to start with facts. Knowing a fact is very different from looking at a fact. We need to take the time to lock down what the facts are in order to move to the next level.

Once you have knowledge, you can start to dive into deep learning or contextualisation:  organising the knowledge, building larger concepts and fitting the facts together to form a narrative.

The final stage is adaptability, where the skills of creativity, collaboration and critical thinking come in and allow you to adapt the facts and transfer them to new, unfamiliar scenarios.

We cannot focus on teaching thinking alone! Students must take the time to internalise facts, otherwise they have nothing to go deep with.

The full 30min interview can be downloaded by clicking this link. Well worth a listen!