The Practical University | David Brooks | April 4, 2013 | NYTimes.com

Nice commentary … watch out Bumpkins your getting this one on Friday to reference and debate!

In brief. David Ing.

Can online education serve both practical knowledge and technical knowledge? David Brooks cites Michael Oakeshott, which leads to positioning in comparison to Michael Polanyi.

What is a university for? [….]

My own stab at an answer would be that universities are places where young people acquire two sorts of knowledge, what the philosopher Michael Oakeshott called technical knowledge and practical knowledge. Technical knowledge is the sort of knowledge you need to understand a task — the statistical knowledge you need to understand what market researchers do, the biological knowledge you need to grasp the basics of what nurses do.

Technical knowledge is like the recipes in a cookbook. It is formulas telling you roughly what is to be done. It is reducible to rules and directions. It’s the sort of knowledge that can be captured in lectures and bullet points and memorized by rote.

Right now, online and hybrid offerings…

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