Learning something from everyone

The most important thing to take from this article is that everyone has something valuable to teach us. However, information comes in many different forms and requires different approaches to process. It is up to us to take the information we are given and to apply it to our own lives. In order to do this, we need to know about the different types of knowledge that exist.


Cultural knowledge is what we learn from talking to the people around us, taking part in family traditions, observing surroundings and living everyday life. Cultural knowledge is sometimes called indigenous knowledge. This type of knowledge includes the things you do without knowing exactly why. Cultural knowledge is often passed from one generation to the next and can change over time.


Having knowledge of morals means judging what is right and what is wrong. Moral knowledge can be shared by a group, or held by an individual. Moral knowledge might change depending on the situation, or may always be the same. For example, when we make a decision about whether it is right, or wrong, to murder, we are using moral knowledge to make a decision.


Religious knowledge is the understanding a person gains from a divine source – for example from a God or spirit – and not from other humans alone.


Academic knowledge is what we learn from studying, textbooks and teachers. Academic knowledge includes disciplines, such as science, maths, history, languages, psychology, or politics and requires us to follow a certain procedure. Procedure means how you use the knowledge you have to understand a topic. This idea of taking your knowledge and using it in a certain way will be explored in another article. Academic knowledge is usually seen as the most difficult to acquire.


Artistic knowledge is the ability to appreciate/enjoy art forms, such as paintings, music, clothes design, or dance. Artistic knowledge includes the ability to produce art and to comment upon it.


Sensory knowledge is what we learn when we hear, taste, touch, see, or smell something. The senses do not all have to work together. An example of sensory knowledge would be knowing what is cooking from smell, without first seeing the meal.

Knowledge gathers over a lifetime, sometimes without effort. This is the reason we tend to look to our elders for guidance and why they seem to have all the answers. The types of knowledge listed above overlap. We can use many types of knowledge to reach a well-rounded decision.

Paying attention to the types of knowledge above in everyday life means it becomes easier to see your own mind progress. Some knowledge seems hidden, but all knowledge is valuable and worth including in our definitions of ‘intelligence’. Knowledge can be demonstrated in most actions, not just in writing essays or mastering a sport. Everyone holds knowledge that is impressive and valuable to another, so it is important to consider all knowledge as important in making decisions.



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