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What are your frameworks for thinking about knowledge?
Consider the following framework with its five levels of knowledge (from highest to lowest):
- Wisdom - (how & whether one should act) - enables one to choose actions and to decide whether to act in the interests of self and others
- Knowledge & Insight - (how it happens to be) - to understand cause & effect and thus able to predict outcomes of actions, see also Deming's Profound Knowledge
- Information - (what does it mean or why is it so) - enables one to describe a situation in a meaningful way
- Data - (what is the reality here & now) -enables one to identify & describe isolated aspects of a situation
- Concepts - (what might be real) - enable one to identify & develop descriptions of entities
This framework implies a strategy for generating knowledge on which to base action
- Choose a focus, ie, intuit what may need further attention.
Isolate the concepts involved. It may be necessary to design a shared framework of 'operational definitions' to recognise & record the appropriate data efficiently & consistently.
- Establish characteristics, measures and/or scales to accurately acquire data.
- Begin collecting relevant data
- Proceed to elevate one’s data to higher levels of knowledge and thus increase one’s capacity to act
wisely. To verify one’s initial achievements at one level of knowledge it may be necessary to return to the previous level to undertake further
- With wisdom, choose a new or refined focus
See case study : RPS Playground Study
'Soft data is often harder than one might think; hard data is usually softer than one might think" ' Ivan Webb
See also Deming's Profound Knowledge and Information Systems