“You don’t have to know it; you just have to know how to look it up”

A guest post from Julie Krauss over at Individual Sovereignty

     Back in the late 60’s or early 70’s (when else!), there was a wonderful new theory of education that had been developed and was being taught to high-school (talk about child abuse! and I’m not kidding) and college students all over America. And it went like this.

     “You don’t have to know It; you just have to know how to look it up.”

     So there is no need for background knowledge, knowledge of context, knowledge of What Went Before, knowledge of cause and effect either in reality or in theory…? How thoughtless, uninformed, and downright stupid is that! Every “It,” every fact you know becomes part of your background knowledge, like a partly-put-together jigsaw puzzle that helps you put the next It, or Fact, into its proper place in the whole. If you cannot do that…you will never have a picture of anything with enough of it put together in your mind, grasped, UNDERSTOOD, well enough to work from.

     And the “educators” taught this claptrap, and the students lapped it up and repeated it to each other with great seriousness and greater glee.

     Yes, what-we-think-we-know is changing at lightning speed these days and that’s very frustrating. But you can’t stop looking for the Facts and using them to improve the Picture just because it’s difficult and frustrating!

     Anyway, any educator who touted that malarkey Back in the Day should be tarred and feathered, drawn & quartered, run out of town on a rail, and dropped into boiling oil. Talk about malfeasance!

     And it’s no wonder so many people don’t know the difference between George Washington and Bugs Bunny. They don’t have to. All they have to do is Look Him Up. The Revolutionary War? The War for Independence? Wasn’t that some sort of war between Canada and Mexico or something?

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