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What Is Knowledge? Essay

876 words - 4 pages

Where does knowledge begin? The creation and acquisition of knowledge is a difficult and complex topic to grasp. Is it an innate process we are born with or an ability that is learned and acquired through experience? My opinion of knowledge has varied tremendously through out years of exposure from an uneducated regurgitation of subject matter discussed in a room of four white walls and pretentious brats to an understanding of nontraditional, analytic insight gained from a vast exposure to dissimilar cultures and strong models.

Throughout our life stages, many things become clear and broadened with maturity and the tenacity to conquer that unfamiliarity through risk taking. These experiences and other relationships have showed me that, like emotion knowledge can be created and destroyed, depending on the subject matter. The ever-changing opinion as to what is "knowledge" transforms along with the changing opinion of cultures and hierarchies in our society. The readings of Bell hook "Keeping Close To Home: Class and Education" and that of Mike Rose's "Lilia" delivered vivid and interpretable changes one endures with education. With renovation by new generations, knowledge has been consistently reconstructed and the educational experience at times has proven to be culturally compromised. However, it is that silent but obvious gap through generations that has led to a more humanistic and altruistic behavioral evolution.

Knowledge can be obtained and suppressed through the educational system. In what I have named the "finance method" of education, where the students are simply paying vessels that await a professor to fill them with cookie-cut information or for those impoverished to stand humble to whether government funding is available for them to continue or not is clearly where our system fails as a society. Information like that described by Lilia, ."..there was a pattern where they put me in those really basic classes for five years. I guess there was a pattern where they put me in those really basic classes and then decided I would go through my elementary school years in those classes. I didn't learn to read or write" (19). Lilia's language and culture barrier were never addressed by the administration but through her desire to learn.

Like that of Lilia, bell also held a reverence about her background and its short comings, "No wonder our working class parents from poor backgrounds feared our entry into such a world, intuiting perhaps that we might learn to be ashamed of where we had come from, that we might never return home, or come...

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