George Siemens commented on an article about knowledge and epistemology "changing". He questioned the entire idea of "collective knowledge" saying that what the article discussed was more information than knowledge and that he did not really believe in the idea of knowledge being created collectively,
I have heard his arguments before. However, I feel that having been immersed in a foreign culture (including having to speak the language every day) and moving between these cultures, that there is no doubt that knowledge is created collectively. Does this mean the individual is left out of the equation? No. However, what is hegemony except the result of collective knowledge that individuals are not aware of until they are introduced to ideas outside of their own cultural understanding?
Many times, an idea will come to mind in French, Spanish, and even German and Dutch (two languages I am not fluent in, but I have been immersed in through work and student exchanges). One example is the idea of "resumee" in French. There is not a good translation of the concept, however, I find myself telling students to resumee their papers at times. Although translated as summary, the word carries more meaning towards writing an abstract in which there are some judgments and conclusions drawn which a regular summary would not include. These cultural assumptions are collectively developed as a why of knowing without having to explain (tacit knowledge).
It is important to acknowledge both the individual and the culture (group) and the bilateral influence. Each individual will understand the collective knowledge differently depending on their experience, but the culture is not stagnant (despite the culture police that try to make it so) and is affected by individuals.
- V Yonkers
- Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.