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Knowledge is power: The zeitgeist of an era Bibiana Jou 317932739 After some centuries where knowledge was kept

closed in churches and monasteries the enlightenment era meant for people what today internet is for most of us: a way to have access and control of the information and knowledge. The sentence knowledge is power resumes very well the spirit of a time where men and women started to look for answers either inside themselves (rationalism) or outside, in the environment (empirics). Philosophers and thinkers placed the emphasis on the what and how we learn and it is during this time that the base of the educational system as we know it nowadays was placed. In this sense, the enlightenment carried the democratization of knowledge started by the Reformation (). Before that, most children were taught via apprenticeship whatever skill they needed for the work they would do1. But during the enlightenment institutions that would promote the general diffusion of knowledge were encouraged. Later, Industrial revolution accelerated this movement and it is during this period that responsibility of education shifts from parents to the state. But what did Bacon mean when he wrote this sentence? And more important, is it still relevant today? According to Rodrguez J.2 we could understand Bacons famous sentence in three non-exclusive different ways: knowledge designates the experimentally based study and manipulation of the causes and effects of natural phenomena. And in this sense any kind of knowledge that contributes to increasing the human power and domination over nature is legitimate. The possession of this intellectual capital [knowledge] justifies the social promotion and political empowerment of a new class of experimental scientists (epistemocracy). The selective inculcation of knowledge can be used as a set of disciplinary technologies

Although these implications from Bacons cite are somehow still relevant (in a way economic prosperity rests upon knowledge and its useful application3), we could argue that in an information society where knowledge and information is available to anyone- anywhere- anytime the Know what has
1

Collins, A; Halverson, R. 2009. Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology. New York: Teachers College Press.

Rodriguez Garcia, JM Scientia-potestas-est - knowledge is power: Francis Bacon to Michel Foucault Neohelicon, 2001, Vol.28(1), pp.109-122 [Peer Reviewed Journal] Kylaheiko, K ; Jantunen, A ; Puumalainen, K ; Luukka, P Value of knowledge -Technology strategies in different knowledge regimes International Journal Of Production Economics, 2011, Vol.131(1), pp.273-287 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

Knowledge is power: The zeitgeist of an era Bibiana Jou 317932739 become less important and the emphasis has shifted to the know who and know where. Bacons and his contemporaries helped to democratize knowledge and to give a sense of usefulness to it that still prevails today. However, content (information) is no longer an asset, not one where a whole system can be based on. Ironically, the system (the educational system in our case) by democratizing and spreading knowledge among people wakens the foundations it is based on, and knowledge (and the entities that promote, spread and keeps it) loses its value. In this sense, schools and universities should rethink their role as institutions that keep and spread knowledge and should shift back to the apprenticeship model where skills, and not content, were learnt and taught by doing.