Read the Harvard Business Review Blog "Do You Know What You Don't Know?" and discuss some of the key points of the article as it relates to improving our ability to learn....

Read the Harvard Business Review Blog "Do You Know What You Don't Know?" and discuss some of the key points of the article as it relates to improving our ability to learn.

https://hbr.org/2012/05/discover-what-you-need-to-know

 

Expert Answers
sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a fairly open ended writing prompt.  It asks you to reflect on the attached article, so feel free to openly discuss your feelings and reactions to the article. A critical part of your response is going to be supporting and explaining your thoughts with specifics from the article. My thoughts regarding the article will likely be different than somebody else's thoughts, since I'm coming from my own worldview, education, and job. I'll give a brief reflection of my own to get you started on your reflection. I'm also going to intentionally leave it short of 300 words. 

As a teacher, I really liked the article because it specifically mentions taking "a lesson from teachers." It's good to know that the Harvard Business Review values the lessons and methodology of teachers so highly. I honestly could not agree more with the article's statement about how a person knows a subject really well if they have to teach about it. I remember learning about mitosis in my college biology classes; however, I finally wrapped my head around it and fully understood it after teaching it to high school students. As a student, I knew which words to use to explain that process; however, I didn't necessarily know what those words meant. As a teacher, I am expected to know that kind of thing. I am not allowed to have the "illusion of explanatory depth." 

The article continued discussing the importance of teaching as a learning method when the author wrote about the value of "self-teaching."  

Explain concepts to yourself as you learn them. Get in the habit of self-teaching. Your explanations will reveal your own knowledge gaps and identify words and concepts whose meanings aren’t clear.

I frequently recommend that students practice writing out the answer to possible essay questions. This process shows students existing gaps in their knowledge, and it helps them work toward better understanding certain concepts. When you write out your answer, it's not possible to convey knowledge through anything other than the words. If you truly understand something, then you should be able to write it out in words. This kind of practice serves as a way for students to self-teach themselves because it forces students to review, organize, analyze, and flesh out entire concepts.