What are the 2 kinds of ‘Understanding’?
There are 2 different kinds of ‘understanding’ according to Geoffrey Waldon, a developmental neurologist who developed the idea of ‘Functional Learning’ and described 2 complementary kinds of understanding:
‘General Understanding’, the universal comprehension of the world and how it and our bodies work, is similar in all countries, climates, and cultures throughout history, and is basic to all human beings. General Understanding is not taught but is acquired internally by the child as he plays and explores the environment, i.e. before there are rules or ‘right and wrong’, and it lays the foundations for language development and imaginative play.
‘Cultural Understanding’ comes later, is molded by the specific external requirements of the family and their culture, and varies as much as all the languages in the world. It differs according to country or region, social classes within the area, and every family style and history, including the gender of the child. It is meant to prepare the child to fit into the society in which he is growing up. It is taught to the child by the people around and directing and supporting him as in order to take his place in society a child needs to learn the particular cultural norms of that society. But it cannot develop without a solid foundation in ‘general understanding’. http://www.waldonassociation.org.uk/
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