Thursday, May 24, 2012

studying VS. knowing

You realize you want to be a foot doctor.
This means you have to learn to be one.

This means you have to undergo a long series of processes, all of which lead to becoming a foot doctor, and all of which are divided into 2 sections.

Imagine each process as an ice-cream cone that you eat backwards, cone first.

The cone part is studying the particular information which upon completion will allow you to eat the ice-cream part, knowing.

Once you accumulate all the needed knowledge, you will have learned to be a foot doctor.

Lets paint the picture even brighter.

One of the processes of becoming a foot doctor is understanding the anatomical structure of the body, particularly that of the foot .  Let's now divide this process into our backwards ice-cream cone.  First you must munch through the cone and study information about the body that satisfies the requirements of your target knowledge, and once that occurs you can enjoy the ice cream or;  know the target knowledge.

As long as the target knowledge is something you desire, the process of munching through the tasteless cone shouldn't be a problem.

This is where most popular forms of education break down.  Education has decided that the ice cream part is no longer important.  All student needs for success is a bunch of tasteless cones, so it pummels students with books and graphs and vocabulary until the brain thinks it is Muhammad Ali.  The whole time the student is hating every second of their "learning" experience because he has nothing to look forward to.  He thinks no ice cream is waiting for him .

Then there is the other extreme, giving a student a target knowledge and just letting them run free without any form of guidance or direction.

This is equivalent to plopping a huge scoop of yummy ice-cream (coneless) on a students face and expecting them to consume it without getting a drop on their collar (while their hands are tied behind their back).  They will enjoy the ice-cream because they like it, but they will make a huge mess trying to consume it, and they won't even be able to effectively consume it all.  lots of it will get on the floor and their clothes.

A long lost balance is needed.  We all love ice cream, but it is very difficult to enjoy completely without a cone.  We all love knowing new things, but we need the cone of study to keep all our efforts focused.  But when the emphasis of learning starts leaning towards the studying part more than the joy of knowing part, we walk away with a bitter taste.  too much bitter makes us believe there is no sweet.

1 comment:

  1. The bowl and spoon is the perfect balance. There are tools that will help me get at the ice cream more efficiently and avoid the gross cone. AND I can use the same tool (bowl and spoon) to consume other kinds of ice cream. What is the bowl and spoon?