1 comment by Tom

  • I basically agree with what this article is saying.
    However, why on earth is the headline "skills OR knowledge"? The author (and the byline) clearly state both are important.
    (It is my understanding that) it is pretty universally accepted by cognitive scientists (such as Dan Willingham) that knowledge precedes skill. So they are not equally important, knowledge comes first. So if you want students to be better communicators (in a context), they need more *knowledge* (of that context) first - of vocabulary, possible sentence structures etc. And then (shed-)loads of practice at communicating (in that context), with feedback and examples to model and develop practice.
    So I don't think framing this as a problem of knowledge vs skills is accurate. I think it would be better framed as a problem of 'teaching the chemistry' vs 'teaching everything else'; everything else needed to be a chemist/a numerate professional (e.g. communication, analysis, self-management, finding information, using software, decision making, commercial awareness).

    So. I do basically agree with the point of the article that we need to be better at teaching these other things alongside the pure subject knowledge. But IMO its not helpful to frame this as 'knowledge' vs 'skills'.

    Commented on:20 July 2019 15:44

    An illustration showing a silhouette man on an unicycle, balancing using a giant pencil

    Skills or knowledge?