ABSTRACT

There is a type of knowledge that should be created in universities and taught in schools and to all students regardless of race, religion, and culture. That knowledge—variously known as academic, disciplinary, epistemic, erudite, scientific, esoteric, rational, abstract, and objective—is the disci- plinary knowledge of the sciences, arts, humanities, and social sciences. This book is about why academic knowledge matters and why it has lost its privileged place in the social sciences and in the school curriculum. That place now goes to another type of knowledge—social knowledge. This also has a number of terms—doxa, culture, beliefs, everyday knowledge, com- mon sense, tacit knowledge, and folk knowledge. Disciplinary knowledge and social knowledge are both important—each for its own purpose. Social knowledge comes from an individual’s experience within a socio-cultural group. It is the beliefs, values, and practices that reinforce an individual’s identification with the group and ensure the group’s cohesion. Disciplinary knowledge, on the other hand, disturbs that commonsense understanding of the world. It provides the means for doubt, criticism, and judgement— intellectual tools that change individuals and change the world.