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kain ramsay

Life & Leadership Coach, Kain Ramsay Life Balance Coaching

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Is understanding more valuable than knowledge?

2 years ago I attended a short course in basic accounting.

My course tutor had hugely impressed me with her knowledge of the subject, which if I'm totally honest, overwhelmed me a bit and left me more confused about the subject than what I was before I started.

One day when I asked how I could apply this new knowledge in the context of a new business I was starting at the time, I was horrified with the answer I received.

She said, "Although I am your course tutor and have a wide knowledge of this subject, I am probably not the best person to ask as I have never personally kept a set of accounts. Perhaps you could ask someone else who has a better understanding of the subject?"

Now although this lady had over 5 years experience of teaching this subject and did not just impress me, but everyone else on the course with the extent of her knowledge, we would have found her understanding to be ever so much more useful!

I'd love to hear any experiences you have in relation to this TED'ers


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  • Nov 16 2013: The first thing you should understand about your question is it does not make much sense as understanding is a synonym of knowledge. Even in your tutor's example she used both words in a synonymous fashion. That being said here are some people who know a little bit about knowledge or understanding(there meaning is the same).

    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand"- Confucius
    "The only source of knowledge is experience"- Einstein
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge"- Einstein
    "Information is not knowledge"- Einstein
    “Knowledge is light; it illuminates and reveals the nature of reality”- Paramahansa Yogananda
    "Wonder is the root of knowledge"- Abraham Heschel

    In business there is a saying that goes like this: "If you can't do it, teach it"
    It was talking about people who go through college but still can not make a living in the real world doing what they were taught in college. So they just "teach", not by experience but by what they "think" is real. Maybe that is what your tutor was a professional "teacher".

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