Defining Ways of Knowing

Watch this Training Video on “Defining Ways of Knowing.” Download the audio podcast of this video [Download Link].

Ways of Knowing

A “way of knowing” is a tool used to acquire knowledge. These tools include:

  • Language
  • Sense perception
  • Emotion
  • Reason
  • Imagination
  • Intuition
  • Memory
  • Faith

There is no “perfect” method to acquire knowledge. Some people prioritize a way of knowing based on what is considered useful to society or to themselves.

In summary:

questions → ways of knowing → knowledge claim


Questions Way of Knowing Knowledge
What colour is the grass? Sense perception:
The grass is green.
Why do I buy cool treats for my cat? Emotion I love my cat.


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Canadian Council on Learning. (2009). The state of Aboriginal learning in Canada: a holistic approach to measuring success. Ottawa, Ont.: Canadian Council on Learning = Conseil canadien sur l’apprentissage. Available at,_ccl,_2009.pdf

Dei, G. (2008). Indigenous Knowledge Studies and the Next Generation: Pedagogical Possibilites for Anti-Colonial Education. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 37(S1), 5-13. doi:10.1375/S1326011100000326

IB Theory of Knowledge. (2020, May 22). Wikibooks. Retrieved from

Resource: Polarity Mapping. (2017, May 27). University Innovation Fellows. Retrieved from

Truncellito, D. A. (n.d.). Epistemology. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP).



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Decolonizing the Engineering Curriculum Copyright © 2022 by Pamela Wolf, Ben Harris, Nika Martinussen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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