The conceptions of knowledge in educational discourse: some problems
Damijan Štefanc

Summary:   The article discusses the conceptions of knowledge according to didactic theory and points to some problems related to them. First it looks at the thesis that knowledge is traditionally understood as a “collection” of objective, absolute truths, whereas conversely some experts on didactics see knowledge in an explicitly functional way, that is as a competency to engage in an activity. If we are to rely on the distinction between propositional and dispositional knowledge as it is well-established in epistemology, we can therefore show that knowledge is reduced to its propositional dimension in the former case and to its dispositional dimension in the latter. The second part of the article analyzes the classifications of knowledge which have been established in our professional area (particularly the distinctions among declarative, procedural, strategic, and metacognitive knowledge). Special attention is called to the thesis claiming that school instruction should place greater emphasis on procedural, strategic, and metacognitive knowledge, rather than on declarative knowledge. This thesis can be interpreted as suggesting that these three types of knowledge can be realized only through teaching and learning which is not based on the transmission of declarative knowledge. Within this context, the article argues that the pedagogical profession treats the relationships between individual didactic strategies and results at the level of acquiring specific types of knowledge differently. The problem lies in that some considerations dominating the professional area are exclusive as well as unconvincing in their arguments.

Journal of Contemporary Educational Studies is
published with support of Slovenian Research Agency.