Two types of knowledge

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“I recently read about the scientific distinction between two types of knowledge: declarative knowledge and procedural knowledge.”

“What is the difference between them?”

“We might think of 
declarative knowledge as knowledge of, and of 
procedural knowledge as knowledge how.

They correspond to what I’ve identified as two important aspects of the learning process: Understanding and Implementation.

The efficient output of declarative knowledge is the formation (and refinement) of mental models (model-making). You’re forming a schematic mental map of what you’re learning by connecting it with other information nodes [network model].

The efficient output of procedural knowledge is the formation of habits and skills. You’re forming optimal neural patterns through strategic mindful repetition (deliberate practice).

Visually, it looks something like this:

“So this is an example of declarative knowledge.”


Efficient learning requires striking a balance between these two types of knowledge. I call it the declarative/procedural ratio.”


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About Dani Trusca

Playfully seeking wisdom

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