Learn to Learn

Today I need to talk about something really important. I came straight from sociology class so my ideas are fresh in my mind. Today we were talking about rationalization. What is rationalization? Its the action of organizing our lives in a way where we think that we are getting the most out of it. Not the most fun or the most worth or the most quality. No. The most quantity. Where we schedule and plan our lives to the point where everything becomes a chore and nothing is done for the purpose of doing a job well. To the point where the more work we can generate our of an action means more than allowing our actions to be meaningful and worthy.

We talked about a lot of things today. But what struck me was an idea I generated on my own today in class when asked for an example of an area of life that should probably NOT be so rationalized. I thought of education. The words that came out of my mouth were “cookie-cutter education”. How true is that if you think about it? How many of our educational institutions allow us to think creatively? Im living here in the States and I don’t see it. Multiple choice questions and answers, expecting students to memorize textbooks, not forcing them to apply what they learn; all of these things contribute to cookie-cutting. They’re making templates out of students. Whoever learns the system better, gets to succeed.

Cram enough information into one class and one lecture and overwhelm the student where they feel like they can’t cope. Don’t get me wrong. I am not that student. I am capable of handling everything and anything anyone throws at me. It’s not overconfidence either. It’s experience. It’s been done. I’ve overcome obstacles people thought were brick walls for me.. It’s everyone else. I see these people who settle for a decent grade and who don’t want anymore. Students who don’t want to learn. Who are not curious. Who don’t ask why. They just want a decent grade so they can get out and do their mundane 9-to-5 jobs, sitting at a desk, pushing papers.

Teachers don’t inspire. Don’t tie what they teach into a bigger picture. Don’t allow the students to have epiphanies. Don’t watch as the students go AHA! and look at their faces with the glow of understanding. Teachers are ok with just making sure that the students have rote learned what they have taught and send them on their way.

Teachers are the same everywhere. I have met very few teachers who have inspired me. Who have made me love their subject and made me want to worship them. Who have made me marvel at their genius; not only because of what their heads are full of but because of their genius in teaching. Because they make me want to know. They hold my interest and force me to be curious. I do remember one place that never reined in my mind. That never leashed it. Mind you, it wasn’t because it was what was best for a person like me, no. It was because no one knew any better and I was free to do as I please because I usually ended up being better than the teachers at it. But I guess thats what teachers should aim for isn’t it? Students who are better than them. That’s what shows that they have succeeded. When they are surpassed by their own students.

I’m getting off topic. There are some teachers here who inspire me. Who give me epiphanies. It is so sad that none of them teach a class which I call my major. If I ever found a teacher that taught computer science the way these teachers taught me sociology and psychology, I don’t think I would ever leave that teacher alone for more than a minute.

Teachers need to teach their students how to learn to learn.

That is all a teacher ever needs to do. Not cram information into a child’d head. But to inspire the child to go look for him/herself. Even if it means he/she doesn’t get straight A’s in every subject.

Ok I don’t mean that. Students should get straight A’s in every subject OKKKKK.

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