Einstein on Education…

I was watching a NOVA special on Einstein when I heard that he had said:

It’s nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled useful curiosity; for this delicate plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom.

Einstein goes on to say:

It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.

I would conclude from this that the challenge before the student is to maintain a sense of wonder and delight at what he learns. This would be true whether studying physics, literature, sociology, or theology.

1 thought on “Einstein on Education…

  1. If Einstein did say that, I think his point is valid. I didn’t really start to like history until I was in college and had a really good professor who made it exciting. In fact, I would say the educational system itself (from K to post grad) is damaged (I won’t go into a long rant on why) but the handful of teachers that make certain subjects interesting are all that save the system. If I had only had Shakepere in college, I’d probably hate it to this day, but I had a teacher in High School who made it fun (and funny). Too bad no one managed that with math…

    If it is true that modern schooling kills curiosity, then it is our responsibility as learners (or parents of learners) to foster the curiosity outside of the classroom. A wise man recently told me that he learned that to grow we occasionally need to try something different. I’ve been trying that, and while I’ve found some stuff I don’t like, I’ve also found some stuff that I could like…and now I’m more curious about it.

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