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KNOWLEDGEABLE

Definition of the word of the week (KNOWLEDGEABLE): Highly educated; having extensive information or understanding, “enlightened.”

As we start the new school year, students need to understand the importance of being knowledgeable in their school subjects. The main prerequisite to knowledge is curiosity, the more insatiable the better. Most knowledgeable people are voracious readers, have an appetite for learning and are interested in making themselves better people. Knowledgeable adults had parents who read to them long before they started school. Of course, the sooner children start reading, the better.

Ignorant people “do not know what they do not know” and some do not seem to care. Knowledgeable students, on the other hand, are inquisitive and seek to learn. In essence, they “know what they do not know” and take proactive steps to remedy the shortcoming.

There is a troubling and growing trend in secondary education. Public accountability for test scores sometimes leads teachers to teach the test instead of developing critical thinking. It is not uncommon in Georgia for a high school graduate to have an “A” average in school but score only 600 on the college entrance exam. Scoring 600 on either the verbal or math test would not be too bad but scoring 600 or less for the entire exam highlights the problem of teaching students to regurgitate information instead of developing critical thinking skills. In a word, we have failed to make students knowledgeable.

Students, you need to choose! Do you want to be ignorant or knowledgeable? If you choose ignorance, then do NOT read! Instead, sit in front of the television, eat chips and play video games. Conversely, if you choose to be knowledgeable, then READ! Read everything that you can. Broaden your field of interest and you will be a much more interesting person and better informed. One should be knowledgeable in as many subjects as possible.

Knowledge results from the ability to connect new information with previously known concepts. Being knowledgeable is an important step on the path that leads to WISDOM!

The following quotations are intended to assist in explaining and exemplifying the word of the week:

When a problem comes along, study it until you are completely knowledgeable. Then find that weak spot, break the problem apart, and the rest will be easy. Norman Vincent Peale, Author

We can be knowledgeable with other men’s knowledge, but we cannot be wise with other men’s wisdom. Michael Montaigne, Philosopher

I demand that my books be judged with utmost severity, by knowledgeable people…Louis Aragon, Poet

COL Patrick Beer, the Dean of Students and Commandant of Cadets at Georgia Military College, prepares this study guide each week as part of the institution’s character education program. He welcomes comments and suggestions from readers. He can be contacted by phone at 478-445-2710 or by email at pbeer@gmc.cc.ga.us.