Increasingly, less and less profits are obtained from the traditional sources: land, work and money. The main producers of wealth are information and knowledge.
Present-day societies are witnessing fundamental changes in the way of producing the scientific, social and cultural knowledge. A new manner of producing knowledge and a new consideration of the volume and value given to information are substituting or reforming the established institutions, disciplines, practices and policies.
Within the way of producing knowledge, there are two concepts which particularly describe certain manifestations of postmodernity:
The homogeneous and the heterogeneous ones.
In this sense, the new way of producing knowledge is heterogeneous in relation with the skills and experience that people provide.
For instance, the composition of a team for the solution of a problem changes with time and the requirements evolve. People gather in temporal teams and networks, which disappear once the problem has been solved or redefined. The members can, then, gather in different groups with different people and often in different places to tackle different problems. This is not planned or co-ordinated with a central group.
Important in the educational process
Perhaps, this is why in the educational processes, in the respective designed didactic programmes and in the use of electronic information technologies, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches, knowledge integration, co-operative knowledge and cohesion elements are so important.
As for the heterogeneous way of producing knowledge is concerned, it involves a model of growing density of communication, when the origin of this heterogeneous growth is found in three communication levels:
- Communication between science and society
- Communication between scientists and
- Communication between entities of the physical and social worlds.
Regarding our contact with educational centres, one of the most problematic topics is knowledge and, of course, its close relation with teaching and learning. One cannot leave this topic aside, since an analysis of it is always necessary and specially taking into account the vertiginous rapidity and fragility of most present-day knowledge.
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