ED 200 Week Five Part 2 (Spring 2020)

Hi Everyone,

We have looked at intelligence, and we have looked at the brain. It is now time to look into something referred to as background knowledge. What is background knowledge, and why is it so important?

Today we will read something that will speak to background knowledge.

Please read pages 19 – 28 in the following chapter and then answer the accompanying questions.


When we think about people who are educated, we agree that they do know things. In fact, according to Barrow, the educated person has a depth and breadth of understanding. So educated people do seem to have a depth and breadth of knowledge. And to have knowledge it would seem that we would need to have quite a number of facts (or factual knowledge). You have probably come across some people who seem to think they know a lot but in fact appear to know very little. They lack some kind of knowledge and understanding.

Fourth Response Question Set

Question 7: Why, according to the author, must factual knowledge precede skill?

Question 8: Why is it that knowing a lot of facts doesn’t amount to having understanding?

Question 9: We have to have background knowledge to think about things. You can’t think about, and certainly not think critically about, American government if you don’t know something about it. What is happening in “working memory” when we think about things?


We will carry on next day and read the rest of the chapter.

Until then 🙂