Canon of knowledge and testing

In education and schools one of the new concepts is the Canon. In the Netherlands a body of officials presented a Canon of History and all schools must teach this Canon. More Canons, like the Canon of Dutch Literature are made. A canon of knowledge is a certain body of facts and data and has a stamp of official acceptance and approval.  They say: “Now all children will know the important facts and our culture will be a shared culture”,  that is the intended goal of these Canons.

The Canonization of a common and shared chunks of facts and information to implant knowledge or fill students with approved and certified information will not succeed.


The school and the teacher cannot inject knowledge in a child. In an open society with all kinds of influences and so much media the child will rethink and reframe the stories of the teacher. The child will connect in unexpected ways.  A very old Chinese poem: One can put a bird in a cage, One cannot force a caged bird to sing.

This Canon of knowledge is so different from the  Rhizomatic Education.

A voice from the blogosphere:  “I wish we had more freedom in the writing classes that I teach to be able to do what you are doing. Between set learning outcomes, common assignments, and shared syllabus and textbooks, there is little room to send the students out exploring. At least, one has to be more creative in order to incorporate those features, and I’m not there. Yet.”

The rhizome metaphor, which represents a critical leap in coping with the loss of a canon against which to compare, judge, and value knowledge, may be particularly apt as a model for disciplines on the bleeding edge where the canon is fluid and knowledge is a moving target.” (A botanical metaphor, first posited by Deleuze and Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus (1987)

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