Is understanding the same as knowing?

cimg1191I was recently in Minneapolis having a birthday dinner celebration with friends. We were at a great little bistro that allowed us to look out the window onto the street.  My friend said, “Oh look, it’s snowing. Big, fat snowflakes.” Her husband said, “That’s definitely Cary Grant snow.” The conversation continued with the naming of the snow. They have quite a snow vocabulary in Minnesota.  As a Louisiana girl, snow is snow. We see it every 2o years or so and it all looks the same–amazing.

This year, we experienced snow in South Louisiana for the first time in many, many years. My two youngest daughters, ages 9 and 5, experienced snow for the first time. Of course, they know what snow is. They understand that it is cold and white. Yet, they had never experienced it. My husband and I woke them up and they ran outside in overcoats tossed over their pj’s. After catching snow on their tongues and making snow angels, my littlest one said to me, “Mommy, I never imagined that snow would be wet.”

Understanding is not the same as knowing. It is experience that gives us true knowledge. Craft experiences that tap into what the learner knows. Lead the learner into deeper knowing by choosing activities that immerse into, explore, apply and adapt information. This deep dive moves the learner from understanding into knowledge.

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