“There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.” Bertrand Russell
I could not agree more! And actually, who is to say what is useless and what is useful? For most people knowing who scored the first goal at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (or whatever it is going to be called) in a competitive match is totally irrelevant, useless and not interesting; but for some people, knowing and remembering that it was Son is useful-one never knows when it might come up in a quiz.
Knowledge is the theme this week which is timely given that exam season is upon us. Of course one can always tell when it is exam season as the weather suddenly changes! I was talking to some of the Year 13s the other day who said that at least the exam room would not be like it was for the mock exams back in January, where they needed individual radiators and their ink was in danger of freezing!
Knowledge will be very important for all of our students sitting exams over the coming 2 months or so and so will skills. Different subjects have different expectations of students and it can be really tough learning how to do everything, especially in a second or third language. Some would argue that in the long run, skills are more important than knowledge and others would argue just the opposite. I guess it depends on one’s point of view and subject bias. The advantage of having the sills rather than the knowledge is that thanks to google (and other search engines) almost any piece of knowledge can be found instantly; obviously not in an exam situation so that is where that argument falls down.
Personally, I think they are both important. What good is knowledge without the skills to analyse it, evaluate it, draw inference from it, discuss, argue, debate and discredit it based on other knowledge? One cannot go without the other; watching University Challenge would be no fun without knowledge but then again, watching Only Connect without skills would be as dull!
So. Listen, learn, think, remember, read, sing, play, visit, argue, reflect. There is no such thing as useless knowledge, only knowledge that you don’t necessarily know when you are going to use…
Have a great weekend wherever you are and don’t forget to pop in and see us if you are in the area