Information Studies 289 -- Knowledge

Fall 2006

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Discussion assignment.

Identify a type of knowledge that you would like to analyze in your paper. This knowledge should not be something like "knowledge about trees", since there are probably many different types of knowledge about trees in society. Instead, identify a group of people (e.g., a profession or a culture) and a type of knowledge that those people have. During the second part of the class (weeks 2 through 9), we will have a 25-minute discussion of each individual's knowledge. When we discuss the knowledge that you are planning to write about, bring to class some document, such as a reading from a textbook, that represents that knowledge. Bring enough copies for everyone in the class. Begin the discussion with an informal 10-minute presentation that explains various properties of the knowledge. How much of it is there? Where does it originate? What types of institutions create it and use it? How do those institutions work? How is the knowledge learned? What types of representations are used in recording and communicating the knowledge? What genres of writing are used? What are the various methods by which different sorts of people get access to the knowledge? After your presentation, our discussion will have two goals. One will be to analyze the knowledge as a social phenomenon, and the other will be to invent ways of improving people's access to the knowledge. This could include institutions, technologies, genres, or anything else.