Knowledge and Curriculum – Characteristics and Types of Knowledge

Knowledge is an awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation or the theoretical and practical understanding of a subject.

Prof Russel: “Knowledge is that which enlightens the human mind”

William James: Knowledge is another name for practical achievement and success.

Prof Joad: Knowledge is an addition to our existing information and experience.

Characteristics of Knowledge

Knowledge is power

Knowledge is like wealth, the more a man gets, the more he craves.

Knowledge never decays.

Information is the source to the knowledge.

Knowledge accumulates in an orderly manner, it cannot be attained unexpectedly or incidentally.

Knowledge is infinite

Truths and values are considered the basis of knowledge.

Types of Knowledge

Priori knowledge

Priori knowledge : Priori word means “which comes before”. A priori is the knowledge that is attained independently of any experience.

In this we acquire knowledge merely by theoretical reasoning rather then any experience or any observation.

Example : Mathematics calculation is an example of priori knowledge. In this we use priori knowledge to calculate any sum.

Posteriori Knowledge

It is the knowledge which is gained through experience.

Posteriori means afterwards. It means the knowledge which we acquire after any experience .

A posteriori judgment adds to the knowledge. But the knowledge yielded can sometimes be uncertain or problematic. Physics, chemistry, and biology are instances of a posteriori knowledge.

The Upanishads refer to two kinds of knowledge.

Para Vidya

It the highest form of  knowledge.

Para vidya is spiritual realization, which is knowledge of the Self.

This type of knowledge pertains to knowing one-self and establishes relationship between soul and God

Apara Vidya

It is ‘the lower knowledge‘

The lower knowledge consists of all textual knowledge

Apara vidya establishes a relationship  between the material world and outer nature.

In order to understand the material world we make use of five senses and reasoning.

We call it worldly knowledge

Explicit Knowledge

It can be readily articulated, codified, stored and accessed. It can be easily transmitted to others.

It can be expressed in words. ¢For example books, documents, reports, memos, data sheets etc

Tacit Knowledge

Tacit knowledge or implicit knowledge is difficult to express in words either in writing or in verbal.

This knowledge is received through experience and training.

This cannot be easily transferred to other person, it can be transferred through learning

Specific types of knowledge

Authoritative Knowledge:

It is that knowledge that we received from any authority or which is proved by scientists.

Scientific Knowledge:

This knowledge is gained through observation and experimentation.

Empirical Knowledge:

Knowledge drawn through sense observation

This type of knowledge is based on experiences, investigation and analysis

Rational Knowledge

The knowledge drawn  from reasoning is called rational knowledge.

Reasoning is a mental and intellectual process.

Through reasoning a man forms his opinion or reaches a conclusion.

Pragmatic Knowledge

Pragmatic means practical knowledge

It is activity centered and useful in our day to day life

It is derived from an individual’s experiences, experiments and investigation.

It is very useful  in one’s adjustment in life.

Revealed Knowledge:

The knowledge which we receive from prophets or religious books is called revealed knowledge.

This knowledge is classical and universal in nature.

It is not subject to change.

Intuitive Knowledge

Intuitive knowledge is spontaneous in nature.

It is neither related to senses nor to reason.

It can be identified with the sixth sense or inner sense.

It cannot be repeated by personal experience nor can be verified scientifically.

Thank you so much for reading

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