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Understanding Self Knowledge Essay

1846 words - 8 pages

Understanding Self-Knowledge and Evaluating Understanding
Grand Canyon University
July 14, 2007

Understanding Self-Knowledge and Evaluating Understanding
The purpose of this paper is to identify, describe, and critique personal views on the place of understanding self-knowledge from the point of view of both the teacher and the student. The paper will also provide an evaluation of the sequence and organization of instruction that was used during at least two teaching assignments (units). The focus of this evaluation will be toward the effectiveness of the sequence and organization in accomplishing the desired understanding expected from students. To allay the ...view middle of the document...

This affirmation of ignorance that is an essential facet of self-knowledge will be made more explicit in the proceeding paragraphs.
How can self-knowledge be beneficial to student achievement and learning? Why is ignorance vital in the process of acquiring self-knowledge? In an attempt to answer both questions, reference to the definition listed above for self-knowledge is recommended. What does Wiggins and McTighe (2005) mean by the fragment “as well as prejudice understanding?” Wiggins and McTighe (2005) write: “A naïve student, no matter how bright and learned, lacks self-knowledge to know when an idea is ‘out there’ or a projection; to know when an idea seems objectively true but really only fits the student’s beliefs…” (p. 101). Consider the last phrase of the above quote: “…to know when an idea seems objectively true but really only fits the student’s beliefs …” The line “… as well as prejudice understanding” is analogous to the line “… to know when an idea seems objectively true but really only fits the student’s beliefs…” in the sense that a prejudice of understanding is the same condition as an individual’s subjective insistence that their habitual perspectives are true without reflection, inquiry, or investigation. Once the student has realized that self-deception can thwart understanding, then he or she will have opened themselves to a treasure trove of knowledge possibilities. Therefore self-knowledge can be beneficial to student achievement and learning by a subtle declaration and acceptance of ignorance while knowing that this acceptance will trigger the dissolution of all false assumptions about life.
The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (
once said, “Many a man fails to become an original thinker for the sole reason that his memory is to good.” From the point of view of the teacher and the student, this is invaluable advice in consideration of the true meaning and effectiveness of self-knowledge. Nietzsche is implying that memories are like the prejudice listed earlier in the paper. For students to become the original thinker, they must dispose the memories to invite new ideas for new knowledge.
In today’s schools, many teachers feel that students are making academic progress when factual material is memorized. Some of this factual material comes in the form of components. Teachers must realize that students must not only (Marzano, Pickering & Pollack, 2001, p. 143) have mastery over the component skills, but must be able to control the interactions of these elements. The authors state further that this mastery is “commonly referred to as “metacognitive control” (p. 143 and qtd. in Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1958).
From the point of view of the teacher and the student, metacognition is an extremely essential term in respect to self-discovery and understanding. According to Orlich, Harder, Callahan, Trevisan & Brown (2004, p.G-4), “metacognition means...

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