Why I have always despised disciplining knowledge.

Disciplining knowledge oversimplifies the world by destroying its complexity and creating new problems for which we may never get answers. Besides:

1. It destroys natural interconnections and interdependencies and casts individuals and individualism as superior to wholeness and communalism. 

2. It nurtures arrogant, undemocratic people with a decreasing capacity to value real integration or to seek interconnections and interdependencies even in the minds of learners.

3. It devalues spirituality, ethics and morality in science, creating the wrong impression does not involve values, and is, therefore, pure.

4. It reduces learners to robots who must, through notes-taking, thereby destroying the capacity of the learners to genuinely undertake interrogation and/or enquiry without fear of being failed by their teacher or lecturers who cast themselves as the Know-it-All whose knowledge should not be challenged.

5. It destroys genuine diversity in thinking in favour of monoversity, thereby creating similarity in thinking. If a student questions monoversity in thinking, like world-famous scientist, Galileo Galilei did more than 400 years ago, one is dismissed as a rebel or dissenter and removed from the ranks of knowledge workers or learners.

6. It discourages the sprouting or emergence of scholars and learners who are weird, new and out-of-the-box thinkers.

7. It discourages learners from learning creatively and applying knowledge across disciplines, which capacity enhances broad-mindedness.

8. It stifles the emergence of alternative knowledge production cultures or systems, thereby denying the learning enterprise from cultivating alternative scholarship and alternative analysts, let alone genuine team scientists.

9. It incapacitates the universities from nurturing and producing future-ready professionals who can initiate, build and work in integrated teams.

10. It perpetuates inferiority and superiority complexes as well as cliques and intrigues in the knowledge enterprise. The complexes, cliquism, and intrigues end up being transferred into the wider society, making it difficult to build justice and democracy.

11. It does not adequately engage learners to help them develop their knowledge, wisdom, understanding, insights, problem-solving skills, self-confidence, self-efficacy, and a passion to learn or learn how to learn.

12. It breeds graduates who stop learning as soon as they stream out of the Ivory Tower and who abandon reading, preferring doing just as the people in the communities where they came from, who hate renewing their knowledge and who, therefore, become secondarily illiterate.

13. It kills the ability of learners to recognize biases, think critically, tolerate ambiguity and acknowledge and appreciate ethical concerns, which may explain the spiralling scourge of corruption everywhere, every time, to the detriment of total humanity.

14. It does not conquer preexisting baseless ideas, biases and prejudices, which end up affecting what students learn, how they learn and how they apply their knowledge to their lives or to society.

15. It does not prepare the learners properly to learn more readily on their own, develop a deeper understanding of what is being learned, challenge preconceived notions, defective ideas, choices of the superior, the problem or issue at hand,  or be open-minded enough to new ideas concepts, challenges, problems and issues and ways of doing things.

16. It prepares people who are likely to be arrogant in society to oppress people, suppress alternatives and impose their ideas and choices in others and pursue them as if alternatives do not exist, yet alternatives are as permanent as God.

17 It will suppress negotiation in favour of command-obey as the only tool governing and of achieving results, thereby stunting the collective mind of society of country.

18. It will breed selfish, greedy, intolerant impatient citizens, who if in power, are likely to exclude the majority from power and resources such as natural resources, quality education and quality health.

19. It will stunt the capacity of learners to understand multiple viewpoints, evaluate conflicting viewpoints and build what Allen Repko called structural knowledge. This is the level learners need to get to the point of forming their own ideas and solutions to a given problem. 

20. It does not empower learners to see their own voices reflected in academic achievement.

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Written by Oweyegha Afunaduula (2)

I am a retired lecturer of zoological and environmental sciences at Makerere University. I love writing and sharing information.

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