Researchers in education very often point to the fact that the amount of knowledge or number of acquired fields is not that important these days. Due to the universal access to information and load of data that we are inundated with every day, the shape of our knowledge becomes a lot more valuable than the mass. In other words, the information structure that we build and modify on a daily basis is what counts now.
We are talking about a ‘scaffolding’, a framework on which new data and competences are accumulated. New solutions join the existing concepts, reasoning schemes and problem-solving algorithms. By attaching to the existing structures, these new building block deconstruct the old ones if need be (e.g. when we learn that there are unknown or forgotten pieces of data concerning the history of the place we live in), enhance them (e.g. when we see that lifestyle and consumption in the richest countries are related to the economic situation of the southern hemisphere), rebuild and complement them (e.g. when we learn that light is a wave and a molecule at the same time).
Such ‘sculpting’ or ‘shaping’ cannot be chaotic, however. Analogies and metaphors make sense when students are familiar with the basic concepts of all fields of science. This requires systematic work with children whose cultural and language competences are visibly lower.