Knowledge: a fundamental asset

Kathryn S. McCarthy, Danielle S. McNamara

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


When students learn, they activate, use, revise, and acquire knowledge. As such, knowledge is a fundamental asset. We advocate for an asset-based approach which capitalizes on students' knowledge through prompts and activities that invite learners to leverage what they already know. Considering knowledge as an asset means that educators must consider multiple aspects of knowledge rather than just the amount of knowledge related to a target domain. This article explores how knowledge can be conceptualized across multiple types (e.g., explicit vs. implicit, declarative vs. procedural, metacognitive, epistemological, disciplinary, formal vs. informal) and dimensions (i.e., amount, accuracy, specificity, coherence) and how acknowledging and responding to the multi-faceted nature of knowledge supports learning. Effective learning comes from capitalizing on what a student already knows and engaging the student in active, knowledge building which results in more meaningful and long-term learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Education
Subtitle of host publicationFourth Edition
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780128186299
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment
  • Asset vs. deficit
  • Cognition
  • Comprehension
  • Knowledge
  • Knowledge building
  • Learning
  • Misconceptions
  • Multidimensional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Knowledge: a fundamental asset'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this