Saturday, March 15, 2014

Facebook Friday, March 14


A glance at Facebook today confirmed the tidbit I’d already seen on the history site: it’s Albert Einstein’s birthday.  I wasn’t going to write about him today, because I really don’t have much to say about the man, except that he was a genius, and I think it’s unfair that no uber-famous female would be allowed to have such unkempt hair without facing an awful lot of ridicule.

Oh, and there is this photo of the man I’ve always enjoyed:



  It’s not the sort of thing you would expect from a world-famous thinking man, and it amuses me.

But, fun picture notwithstanding, I wasn’t going to write about him, and I really still don’t have much to say about the man.  But while scrolling through my newsfeed, I did come across a graphic that caught my attention:

It’s just one of the many intelligent things the man said over the years, but I think it hit me because I had just spent a small amount of time on a homework worksheet that was really just about the learning of facts, and nothing beyond that.  Not that the facts aren’t important, of course they are.  But it seems to me that at a college-level course (even at a simple two-year institution) should be taking the time to teach beyond the facts.  Now, granted, it’s an online class I’m taking, and some things are lost in the format, but still.  And, I can be honest enough to admit that some days it’s a relief to be able to just read from a text and then regurgitate the information into homework answers without need of expending too much effort.  On the other hand, I can certainly recognize that I’m at least as responsible for my own education as the school is, maybe more so.  I mean, it’s my education.  So if I just breeze through a worksheet without putting in any real thought, whose fault is it really if there’s not an awful lot of true learning taking place?

So, in honor of the birthday boy, I’m going to make sure that I focus not just on learning facts, but also on examining those facts critically, and understanding the foundational theories behind them.   And, most of all, I will ask lots of questions.  I think that’s a key component to learning of any kind—asking questions to see beyond the simple facts presented.  Because while I think all of my education up to this point has turned me into a fairly decent “thinker”, it’s also true that that sort of education never really stops.  So even though I’m down to the last half of my last course, the education continues.