Knowledge vs. Understanding

Difference Between Knowledge and Understanding

The first thing a teacher wants to know after she finishes explaining a concept if the students understood the concept or not. This clearly illustrates the importance of understanding. If you understand the concepts in this article, it will automatically add to your existing knowledge base. Understanding and knowledge are closely related concepts but there are differences that will be clear after you have read this article.

Knowledge is much broader than your understanding. We all use these words and include them in daily conversation. For example:

  • This is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • As far as my understanding is concerned, the proposed amendment will make us pay more taxes.

Although the two words seem almost similar, there are subtle differences in the understanding and knowledge.

The facts as the timing of your favorite television show, the names of the presidents of the 20th century United States, top ten songs of the week, bus numbers,   your height and weight and the opening and closing of Dow Jones today, are all part of your knowledge but they are distinguished from understanding as they are not open to argument. They are facts that can’t be argued and form a knowledge base that helps you in your life.

Let us now look at things you think you understand. Why Pluto was stripped of its status as a planet in our solar system, the principle of flow of electrons in a conductor, how does your Ac works can be categorized as your understanding that is open for arguments and also can be probed or tested.

Knowledge is the fact-based and can be presented as statements that are not open to questions anymore while understanding needs longer statements, their explanation and probably corrections when someone shows any incongruence. We check the understanding of a person when we take a test and not his knowledge.

What is the difference between Knowledge and Understanding?

While it is easy to distinguish between knowledge and understanding is a known fact that they are closely correlated. You can count the names of the Presidents of the United States, but it is based on your understanding that the U.S. is a country that elects its presidents every four years and that some presidents have served two consecutive terms. Both the understanding that knowledge is essential and they are incomplete without each other. If you as a student understand the concept explained by your teacher, but have gained no knowledge, you reach nowhere and knowledge (facts) without understanding is just examples of your good memory.

 

 

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