Instructional design/Cognitive behaviors/The Importance of Understanding

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Source: Understanding Understanding by Charles M. Reigeluth. Used by Permission.

The Importance of Understanding

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When something is meaningfully understood, it is retained much longer, can be built upon to acquire further understanding, is usually very versatile in the situations and ways it can be used, and facilitates creativity.

For example, the law of supply and demand (and understanding that a higher price for something will reduce the amount demanded and increase the amount supplied) is something which one is not likely to forget once it is meaningfully understood. It is important for acquiring an understanding of consumption theory. It can be applied in a broad range of ways, including deciding how much to charge for cutting someone's lawn and deciding for whom to vote. And it helps one to be creative in finding ways to maximize your income.

Similarly, once you understand what an atom is, you are not likely to forget it; it is essential for understanding the chemical behavior of matter (atomic theory); it is a broadly useful concept in chemistry; and it greatly facilitates a chemist's ability to develop creative ideas and products.

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