Celebration Education

by Karen Kindrick Cox

Not all learning is equal. Covering the material does not mean understanding, finishing a textbook
does not indicate mastery. No real learning takes place until it moves from
surface knowledge to dynamic knowledge, to not only "know about" the
information, but to be able to apply the skill or concept to real life

Surface Knowledge

Surface knowledge is static and motionless, as when a student is exposed to facts or
information, they then "know about" it, and they may even memorize it and pass a
test where they repeat back the information, but there is no real understanding
or application to life. Such surface knowledge diminishes the probability that
long-term retention will occur. Yet this is the model that permeates modern


Dynamic Knowledge

Dynamic knowledge steps beyond just "know about" and steps into performance. It is
actually doing something with the information, working with it, building skills
and understanding on a deeper level. Dynamic knowledge is to gain a feel for
something, to internalize information and have it become real and active in the
learner's world. Students gain dynamic knowledge by experience. It takes more
effort, but it reaps greater rewards.

Joe with Brain Chart
Joseph attaches labels to a chart illustrating the parts of the brain. He is preparing to dissect a sheep's brain.
How much of what your children learn is surface or static knowledge, and how much is dynamic or performance

Howard Gardner, in his book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences states that "intelligence as a problem-solving,
product-producing capability." That standard is a good indicator by which to
judge whether your children are experiencing static or dynamic, active
learning. Inquiry projects built into the EPIC Adventures help children work
with their new knowledge dynamically and incorporate problem-solving and
product-producing into their everyday learning.

Dynamic knowledge should be a big part of your children's learning experiences and will lead to long-term
retention as well as the ability to apply what they learn to their lives.

Brittany Medieval
Brittany stands next to her year-long research project binder and other creations during the Come to Camelot medieval EPIC Adventure. She holds a book she created, after her
research, on the subject of knights. She stitched, wrote, illustrated, bound and
covered it herself.


No problem! You are welcome to publish this article as long as it is left in its entirety
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Karen Kindrick Cox, creator of the EPIC
Pattern of a Scholar TM, has presented
Heart-Firing, Brain-Firing
how-to's to homeschool mothers, since 1989. She currently runs the online EPIC
Adventure Academy and offers workshops and materials to help homeschool mothers
ignite passionate learning and heroic living, visit www.courageousbeings.com.

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