TOK Per. 1
6 December 2014
Word Count: 1243 Methods by Which Knowledge Is Gained
3. How is knowledge gained? What are the sources? To what extent might these vary according to age, education, or cultural background? Knowledge is the melting pot for which an individual inputs information that they acquire from observations and experiences around them that can then be broken down and applied to the real world. In order to fully obtain and be able to explain all of this knowledge, people must utilize ways of knowing such as perception based on observation and reasoning built on direct experiences as their main sources of judgment on the world that surrounds them. Multiple factors regarding the way people are raised, can affect their inclination towards wanting to accept knowledge or to neglect it. Factors such as age, education, and cultural background, are elements unique to every person, and each affects how a person gains knowledge. A person’s age signifies the amount of time in which an individual has had direct experiences with people and society, therefore the older you are, the more knowledge you are able to take in. An individual’s willingness to learn a new thing or understand a subject more, can solely be lent to the level of education they have had, or what is considered a social norm within their particular culture.
Perception is a way of knowing that involves the nature of perceptual experience, more specifically how this perceptual data is related to a beings beliefs or views of the world. Such Rovira 2 experiences are possible through personal observation. Observation in itself is a source of knowledge supported by Bandura’s “Social Learning Theory” in which gaining knowledge is interlinked with a person’s observations and communication with other people. The “Social Learning Theory” is especially prevalent in regard to sociocultural interactions with people in a community. A person who lives in a large metropolitan area is more exposed to a variety of cultures and values, this individual is more inclined to being open to information and knowledge that transverses amongst such a society. A person, however that lives in a small town, secluded from outer cultures and ideals other than that of his own is going to be less willing to knowledge given by people from those other cultures. Each of these subjects are accustomed to direct observations and experiences they have had with their community through their culture and customs. Therefore, the cultural background of an individual can make the difference on how they gain knowledge through acceptance of ideas from others.
The most common view on age is that the older you are the wiser you become, and the younger you are the more naïve you truly are. There is logic behind this statement, and that is because as a person grows, they are able to directly experience and observe what occurs in their environment. As they continually encounter new information, all of these pieces of data that an individual takes in, is combined in order to make a larger arsenal of information they can then use for themselves over time. This built up storage of material can then be used by the individual to make sense of more complex ideas and ways of thinking. Different types of information is transferred through different mediums, and it is through such mediums that one can begin to gain knowledge. The rate or degree that knowledge channels to an individual, or specifically what type of information they wish to accept, can be exemplified through the system that most people Rovira 3 go through, most commonly called school. The school system embodies how age and education are both intertwined in a process