What is quality knowledge and how can it be achieved? On the need to and possibility of bridging two paradigms Barica Marentič Požarnik
Summary: The paper examines dimensions of quality knowledge at the different levels of declarative, procedural, and metacognitive knowledge. The importance of teaching for understanding and developing different kinds of thinking, including creative and practical, is being stressed. Thus, it is important to improve the long-term effects of schooling on (expert) knowledge and to bridge the gap between teaching aims, teaching methods, and student achievement. In the process of achieving quality knowledge, the close relationships between content, strategies, and non-cognitive emotional, motivational, and value components should be respected. Fundamental »paradigmatic« differences still exist regarding how to achieve quality knowledge between the proponents of direct instruction and constructivists. The differences reach from conceptions about the aims and nature of learning to the role of the teacher, effective teaching strategies, the assessment of results, and research methodology. The differences could possibly be overcome by applying evidence-based principles on how to create effective and powerful learning environments. Moreover, improvements at the level of curricula are not sufficient, as they must be supported by the systematic professional development of teachers, focusing on changing their conceptions and improving their teaching competencies.