28 April 2008

Einstein's Theory of Education

“I can’t see any point in learning dates sir” said young Albert Einstein to his teacher “One can always look them up in a book”….

Albert Einstein is remembered far and wide as the man who single-handedly changed the world and the way we look at it. His theory of relativity did to physics what no other scientist had managed to do since Newton and opened new areas of research and development in nuclear and astro-physics.

However, of the many theories that Einstein has given, his ‘Theory of Education’ or more specifically, his idea about teaching and his views on how knowledge is to be imparted is what, despite its great importance, has been forgotten.

Had Einstein’s idea of education been adopted, the world would have been a better place. After all, what is the merit of learning definitions and theorems by heart when one can always look them up in a book? What advantage does mugging up equations and derivations offers other than taking man down the evolutionary ladder to the position of a parrot?

The current ‘learn all’ policy provides no scope for intellectual development and, by stagnating the growth of one’s mental capabilities, actually acts as a detriment as far as cerebral prowess is concerned.

And more importantly, for people like me who find mugging up information as difficult an exercise as eating cockroaches, it ensures that we never get marks in all those exams which require this highly obnoxious task.

People all over the world have so much respect for Einstein and his ‘brilliant ideas’. Then why can’t we adopt this one which, though drastic (like most of his ideas), is yet one which is undoubtedly entirely beneficial.

A system that is free from the menace of mugging will make the whole process of ‘learning’ something more tolerable and infinitely more enjoyable- something that will surely inspire a greater percentage of students to try and understand a subject before ‘learning’ it for the exams.

Besides, Einstein’s Theory of Education, if implemented, will help poor chaps like me to fare better in their exams.