I think the emphasis on "knowledge" is what is killing education. Knowledge is no longer static. It is not a body of work that can be mastered. Knowledge -- driven by information -- is expanding exponentially every day, with changes in technology, geopolitics, economics, weather, and culture. If you are chasing after knowledge, you will be constantly confronted by how futile the endeavor is.
If, however, you instill a love of LEARNING -- then you have done something very profound. A teacher who is a model of lifetime learning is the most powerful motivator of his students. Nobody wants to be a "know-it-all," as our unhealthy climate of anti-intellectualism in the US clearly illustrates. The world is changing and growing every day. If we're not teaching our students how to learn, adapt, and see opportunities to learn more, we are shortchanging them for the future.
How pathetic it is that most people confine their idea of "learning" to "something that happens in school." If learning is all about taking standardized tests, and sitting still, and staying out of trouble -- then how can we surprised that we are falling behind as a nation in all of the metrics related to solving the problems of our contemporary world?
We have to "save" learning from this oblivion. There's no greater sense of accomplishment and self-hood than to know that you've figured something out on your own. If schools at all levels can figure out how to create that kind of "incubator," we'll be on the right track.