In the pre-digital era, education primarily focused on information dissemination sourced from books, discussions, and formal lessons. Fast forward to today, with the abundance of raw data accessible to anyone with a computer and Wi-Fi, education has evolved. The shift is from conveying information to the crucial task of transforming information into contextualized knowledge.
Knowledge is Power
Knowledge, as the processed form of information, becomes valuable when applied to everyday needs and aspirations. Acquiring knowledge involves various avenues such as reading, discussion, research, teaching, and life experiences. The richness of one’s past experiences facilitates the acquisition of new knowledge and understanding.
However, knowledge alone is incomplete without the wisdom to make informed decisions. Contextualised knowledge, coupled with diverse life experiences, equips individuals with the ability to make decisions that benefit themselves, others, and the environment. In today’s hyper-connected world, where information is abundant, knowledge is prevalent, but wisdom is scarce.
The Education Value Chain: A Framework for Transformation
In response to these challenges, the Education Value Chain emerges as a critical framework: Information leads to Knowledge, which nurtures Wisdom. This wisdom then prompts a shift in mindset and behaviour, ultimately influencing others to do the same. The complete Education Value Chain reads as follows: Information ➔ Knowledge ➔ Wisdom ➔ Changed Mindset ➔ Changed Behavior ➔ Influencing Others to Change Mindset and Behavior.
Recognising the value of this comprehensive Education Value Chain is paramount, especially in the development of educational programs and interactive displays in science centres and museums. Beyond being informative, these displays must be transformative, enabling users to confront and solve real-world problems. Science and technology, identified as essential tools for problem-solving, play a pivotal role in this journey.
formula D_, an environmentally aware agency, leads the way in creating interactive displays that guide individuals through the Education Value Chain. Emphasising issues like climate change, biodiversity loss, and plastic pollution, these displays aim to inform and empower people to change their mindsets and behaviours for the betterment of the environment.
Challenges in Education: Amplified by the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing challenges in education, with South Africa facing a significant lack of comprehension skills among learners. Addressing these fundamental problems requires embracing the latest thinking and research, including the integration of tools like the Education Value Chain into the educational toolkit.
As we redefine education as “what you remember after you have forgotten what you learned,” the focus shifts to converting information into knowledge and wisdom, fostering a mindset and behaviour that ensure retention and action on what truly matters.