Do problem solving, critical thinking and creativity play a role in knowledge management? A theoretical mathematics perspective
- Authors: Giannakopoulos, Paul , Buckley, Sheryl
- Date: 2009
- Subjects: Knowledge management , Problem solving , Critical thinking , Creativity , Mathematics , Psychopragmatic approach
- Type: Article
- Identifier: uj:6218 , ISBN 978-1-906638-40-5 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5308
- Description: Litschka, Markom, Schunder (2006) state that "... a knowledge-based economy requires new approaches in management especially with employee oriented actions, because workability, well-being, and creativity of employees determine the success and sustainability of an organization." Such approaches have to be grounded on established learning theories for life long learning which are conducive to knowledge creation and knowledge acquisition. Situated learning (Lave & Wenger, 1997), constructivism (Piaget, 1971; Vygotsky, 1978), behaviourism (Thorndike, 1915; Skinner, 1958) and cognitivism (Wertheimer, 1912; Kohlberg, 1972; Mezirow, 1962, all cited by Hergenhahn and Olson (1997: 29-48) have dominated education for more than eight decades. Though each theory has made valuable contributions, management of knowledge requires higher order thinking skills such critical thinking, problem solving and creativity on the part of the manager of the organisational knowledge and the part of the knowledge creator. The importance of these three skills, especially for the last two decades, have not only been accepted as important cognitive skills by educators and employers, but they also form part of the critical outcomes in American educational policies (American college personnel association, 1994 cited by King & Baxter-Magolda, 1996) as well as in South Africa (SAQA, 1998; the White Paper on Further Education and Training, 1998: 21-23). What is suggested here is a new approach to knowledge management, the psycho-pragmatic approach, which makes use of theories of learning of mathematics as problem solving, critical thinking and creativity form the essence of knowledge acquisition (Schoenfeld, 1987; Skemp, 1977). Mathematics has been recognised as a subject that enhances higher order skills because on the one hand requires abstract thinking on the other promotes use and application of knowledge (Pushkin 2007; Alonso, 1992; Forinash, 1992). This new approach makes use of psychological learning theories for generation of knowledge and pragmatism for application of such knowledge. It is of cyclic nature as well as of spiral nature based on the idea of Nonaka and Konno (1998) model of knowledge and of Bruner's (1976) spiral curriculum.
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