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Critical Thinking Skills For Dummies by Martin Cohen

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Chapter 8

Constructing Knowledge: Information Hierarchies

In This Chapter

arrow Seeing how people handle new information

arrow Thinking deeper about the knowledge pyramid

arrow Resisting the temptation to give up learning

Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.

Anon.

Some people attribute this piece of wisdom to Einstein, but no one seems to be able to trace it to anything specific. It's certainly the sort of thing he'd say, being a scientist, but then it's also the sort of thing that lots of philosophers have said (such as John Dewey, who guest stars in this chapter). I start with this quote, because it reflects a central theme of this chapter: that many stages of information processing lie behind every piece of knowledge.

To illustrate the process of building knowledge, this chapter uses the analogy of constructing a pyramid. I describe climbing the knowledge pyramid by checking out the building blocks of knowledge: data and information. I also discuss the elegant and definitely pyramid-shaped ideas of Benjamin Bloom as well as another American professor, Calvin Taylor, who extended Bloom's ideas to emphasise the importance of creativity. In addition I look at ...

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