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“Knowledge, learning, understanding, are not linear.  They are not little bits of facts lined up in rows or piled up one on top of another.  A field of knowledge, whether it be math, English, history, science, music, or whatever, is a territory, and knowing it is not just a matter of knowing all the items in the territory, but of knowing how they relate to, compare with, and fit in with each other.  It is the difference between being able to say that a room in your house has so many tables, so many chairs, so many lamps, and being able to close your eyes and see that this chair goes here and that table goes there.  It is the difference between knowing the names of all the streets in a city and being able to get from any place, by any desired route, to any other place.”

John Holt, How Children Fail

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