I refuse to know

(I didn’d know there was a book about Flatland! You can download it by clicking here .)

Some students say that they don’t need to study a subject because it will never serve them in their “real lives”. Others say that they don’t trust a scientific theory because they have not heard of it at school. Still others say that they don’t need to study literature because they are not interested in strangers’ lives.

Some students say they should not study arts because they lack natural talent related to these. Others say they should not study literature because they lack imagination. Still others say they shouldn’t study a science because they have already missed learning its fundamentals.

I have lived much longer, and I know for sure that school exposes students just to some levels of subjects. Furthermore, it exposes them to a limited range of fields, and there are so many issues that you won’t have the opportunity to explore even at college, and so many of these are subtly related to our lives in ways we don’t even suspect.

Some people do reach a level at which they start discerning the patterns which organize our seemingly random lives. At that level you know that every bit of knowledge fits into the big picture.

Of course, a person doesn’t need to know every detail, every bit of information, but in order to make informed choices, both personal and professional, you need to know the fundamentals.

Unfortunately, Bulgarian education sucks students into the swamp of random details that have to be memorized for the sake of GPA. Teachers fail to point out the relations- not just between the broad fields of humanities and science, not just between a school subject and another school subject, but even between two facts in the same paragraph in a textbook, which traditionally exposes students to random facts, at best organized into structures, into which the life of function has rarely been breathed.

Students are never taught how to organize information for themselves. That’s why it remains fragmented and never really makes sense.

I am fully aware of my students’ “academic” experience, so I try to compensate for 8-9-10-11-12 years of poor schooling (I can hardly call it education). However, no matter how hard I try, some of them seem to be shouting at me: “I refuse to know!”

I know I am not the best teacher in the world, but I have succeeded in helping a couple of students open their eyes to organic reality. I will never stop learning; I’ll go through quantum physics and ant behavior to find out how to be a good teacher. Meanwhile too many students will belly-flop into “real life” as cripples. How sad. 😦


6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Nikki on November 27, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    I absolutely agree with you about the description of Bg education! 😛 However, I’m ready to argue a little about your pointings about what students trust and value. You see the world in your eyes and students see it in their way, cause all stuents want is to get out of the mysery, find a different path, point themselves into whatthey want. That’s why most of them are ready to disregard anything that seems not to be related to their goals. If a student wants to be a biologist and make new researches in Genetics, for example, or find new vaccines for some disieases, they would put their back into reaching their goal, especially if they’ve decided what the passionately want to do in teh future. This is some kind of a goal-forming period. On teh otehr hand, you have acheived most of your goals – you have a nice job, earn enough money, and teach in a nice way, really, and when a person reaches their primary goals, they’re ready to go further and further. You’re just wiser than the students, that’s why the two points of view don’t fit very well. I myself am preparing for the SAT, while reading a book(i’ve decided to read every day at least for a while), watching you tube clips or movies in english, doing some example tests, writing etc. I prepare for the SAT 2: world history and Biology. I’ve always been curious about many different aspects of life, but I cannot put my back in all of them. I just don’t have enough time to study physics very deeply, for example, even though I watch some interesting adapted movies for Physics, that’s all, just a general idea about something, not a greatest research and a hard studying, cause the hard studying is actually pointed somewhere else – History and Biology 😛


  2. Posted by Nikki on November 30, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    Yeah, we really can not comprehend things that are beyond our perceptions, however there isn’t “I CAN’T” there are only “I DON”T KNOW HOW” and “I DON’T WANT TO” 😛 In this case case with the little circle the problem was just that it didn’t want to, well at least at first, then it wanted and the professor someohow pulled it out of it’s two – dimensional world. However this is quite unrealistic, isn’t it? If we are trying to comprehend something, even if we want so, is there a professor Flatland (or however he is called) that will be able to pull us out of our world? And how is it possible to comprehend things that are beyond our senses? In order to explain them we will try to represent them as a complex of our known “dimensions” cause we just don’t have the concept of another dimension. So the question at teh beginning is really good – can we understand something that is beyound our senses? In the case of learning how to learn English there is someone who can show us, however do you really think we can understand something that is beyond our minds?


  3. i think the only thing beyond our minds is god, and … i’m not sure even about god 🙂 so if you believe something is impossible, it becomes impossible 🙂


  4. Posted by Nikki on December 6, 2007 at 7:01 am

    Aren’t you now doing the same mistake that you write about? 😛 Refusing to know, you say that the only thing beyond our mind is god, but you’re not even sure about that, so You think there is nothing beyond our minds. You think the same way as the small circle which sawy the professor, it has never before believed something could exist in 3 dimensions. So there may be things that are just infront of our eyes, but we just cannot percieve them. The inrared spectre of light for example has always existed but a human’s eye will never manage to see it, so does this mean that there is no infrared light? I mean that there are sooo many things that exist and are just before our eyes but we just cannot comprehend them 😛


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