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Teaching Strategies for Declarative vs. Procedural Knowledge Video

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  • 0:02 Declarative vs…
  • 0:53 How Declarative…
  • 2:07 How Procedural Knowledge Works
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 15 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

There are two types of knowledge: the knowledge of what and the knowledge of how. The knowledge of what is declarative and the knowledge of how is procedural. This lesson reviews these types of knowledge in a classroom setting.

Declarative vs. Procedural Knowledge

Can you ride a bike? Have you ever noticed that even if it's been years since you've ridden one, you never really forget how to do it? But 'how' do you ride a bike? Were you able to write a report that teaches someone how to do it? It would probably be pretty difficult to put that into words.

That is because your understanding of how to ride a bike is procedural knowledge, a skill or action that you are capable of performing. Riding a bike is something you do.

The other side of that coin is declarative knowledge, which is knowledge of facts or concepts. Just as it is difficult to explain in words how to ride a bike, it is difficult to use actions to explain the history of bicycling in the 20th century. In that case, you would use words to show your knowledge.

In this lesson, we will discuss both types of knowledge in detail and cover instructional strategies to incorporate them in the classroom.

How Declarative Knowledge Works

Declarative knowledge answers the question 'What do you know?' It is your understanding of things, ideas, or concepts. In other words, declarative knowledge can be thought of as the who, what, when, and where of information. Declarative knowledge is normally discussed using nouns, like the names of people, places, or things or dates that events occurred.

When teachers have students identify the main characters, plot, and setting of a story, they are assessing declarative knowledge. Writing out definitions to vocabulary words or formulas in math are also examples of declarative knowledge assessment because these are factual statements answering 'What does this word mean?' and 'What is the formula?'

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