Effective problem solving, sound decision making, insightful invention—do such aspects of good thinking depend more on deep expertise in a specialty than on reflective awareness and general strategies? Over the past thirty years, considerable research and controversy have surrounded this issue. An historical sketch of the arguments for the strong specialist position and the strong generalist position suggests that each camp, in its own way, has oversimplified the interaction between general strategic knowledge and specialized domain knowledge. We suggest a synthesis: General and specialized knowledge function in close partnership. We explore the nature of this partnership and consider its implications for educational practice.
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