The millennium teacher is presented with two powerful conceptions. One is expressed in Pogo’s observation that “…we always seem to be confronted with insurmountable opportunity.” The other is presented best in T.S. Eliot’s poem, “Choruses To The Rock.” • Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? • Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Both of these conceptions have direct implications for teacher educators and their work with the next generation of teachers. “Insurmountable opportunity” is the reality for teachers who have not developed the ability to make “enlightened choices.” Enlightened decision making in a sea of opportunity requires the foundational understanding that information, knowledge, and wisdom represent different ways of knowing. Information is one dimensional. It is linear or horizontal, fragmented, and quite useless in and of itself. Knowledge is structured information; it shows relationships between and among bits of information. Knowledge is best represented by theories about natural and social phenomena; it is created basically within content areas, and it tends to be field-specific. Wisdom is the organic application of information and knowledge to human dilemmas, desires, and dreams. Wisdom is that quality of thought and imagination that ties us to our cultural heritage and gives us the ability to find and build the moral framework upon which human life is defined and within which meaning resides.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Knowledge: Structured information that shows relationships between and among bits of information. It tends to be field specific; that is, it is created within or between content fields.
Wisdom: The organic application of information and knowledge to human dilemmas and desires. Wisdom is a quality of thought that ties us to the cultural heritage and gives us the ability to find and build the moral framework upon which human life is defined and within which meaning resides.
Opportunity Cost: The cost of the next best alternative use of time or resources when one choice is made rather than another. The cost of doing something always includes the additional cost of what could have been done if a different choice was made.