Last week I started a Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital & Collaborative Learning) at The Mind Lab. One of the highlights of our four hours together was a discussion on the definition of ‘knowledge’. Our group came away with two visuals and one video to showcase our understanding of ‘knowledge’. Here is a copy of our pen-and-paper collaborative effort:
We were also given the task of creating a video to show our understanding of knowledge and this is the result of our efforts (compliments to Amara who put everything together after the session since we ran out of time during the session):
These activities challenged me to review what I believed knowledge might be. As a Christ follower, I have to turn to the Bible first.
Knowledge according to Scripture
It is incredibly hard to compress what the Bible teaches about knowledge in a small space. So here are some points that stand out for me.
- The Bible teaches that God is the source of all knowledge (1 Samuel 2:3), His knowledge is perfect (Job 37:16), He teaches us knowledge (Psalm 94:10) and that the ‘fear’ (worship) of the Lord is the beginning of all knowledge (Proverbs 1:7). In addition, we are taught that knowledge is more valuable that wealth and that there is a strong link between wisdom, understanding and knowledge (exemplified in the book of Proverbs). As you read through the references to ‘knowledge’ in the New King James Version, it becomes clear that there are different kinds of knowledge, i.e.
- moral knowledge / knowledge of God’s ways (the most commonly referenced example of knowledge in Scripture)
- artistic and skill-based knowledge
- knowledge of God as a Person
- knowledge that enables wise decision-making
- informational knowledge
- knowledge gained from observing the way you and other people live
- knowledge of the natural world
- God’s knowledge of each one of us
- knowledge gained from our parents and elders
- historical knowledge
- When Jesus went back to join God the Father (Matthew 28), He told His disciples that He is not leaving them alone but the Holy Spirit will be with them. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of knowledge (Isaiah 11:2) and He teaches us all things (John 14:26).
- Both knowledge and the lack of knowledge can be dangerous, either “puffing us up” or bringing us under God’s judgement.
So where does this leave me? What is knowledge? I have to come back to Proverbs 1:7.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
As a Christian I believe that God has created me for a reason and a purpose. I will find fulfilment when I “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). I don’t have to worry about material things because God knows what I need. This means that when I teach I need to help my students look at the world and all its people with wonder and awe and help them realise that each one of them has a unique calling and purpose under God. When they aspire to search this out, they will go on a most exciting educational journey that will prepare them to make a difference in their family, their community, their country and possibly the world.
To lifelong learning!