Who owns your knowledge?

There exists a complex interplay between the information you assimilate and your previously acquired knowledge. So much so that the incoming knowledge is affected by prior experiences and existing information, while your existing thoughts and frameworks are affected by this new knowledge.

This isn’t really a new idea.

However, what if your learning focus is on taking in information in order to simply repeat it verbatim later on? Or what if you take in information, and immediately assimilate it, with little change to your original thinking?

In both instances, you do not own the knowledge.

Simply repeating interesting titbits of information prevents the brain from properly internalising them for change to occur. As a learner you don’t own any of this surface level knowledge, you are only repeating it. No major learning growth has occurred because it has not affected your actions, skills, attitudes or behaviours.

With the second instance, you have bent the new knowledge to fit your existing framework. This leads to biased interpretations and myopic learning.

Neither learning strategies are of any used to you because they don’t challenge you to change you thinking.

Challenging existing conceptions and making sense of conflicting ideas is key.

So try mulling over new knowledge and information. Apply it to your work and life situations/challenges assessing the importance and relevance of new information. Increase the breadth and depth of your curiosity through research, action and reflection. Return to the information at a later date and reassess it’s relevance to you. All of are important stages in learning and assimilating new knowledge more effectively.

The goal is to critically assess knowledge, root it deeply and start to really own it.