Educational Quotations – Thoughts 4
“An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't. It's knowing where to go to find out what you need to know; and it's knowing how to use the information you get.”
~ William Feather
This is a long quotation compared to the earlier ones we have explored.
Don’t worry, however, I’m only going to touch on a few points.
The first is that many students worry and stress over how much they have memorized, or rather how much they have not memorized! The fact is that memorization is only a small part of education and learning.
Yes, you do need to remember a few things – no doubt. Some tasks become much easier with memorization. The bulk of learning, however, is not memorization as such but knowing where to find the information you need to help make sound judgements.
Word of caution: This does not mean that you simply look for people or texts that agree with your current opinion or prejudice. Look for all relevant and respected people and texts so that you can form an educated opinion with supports, proof, examples, etc.
The “word of caution” above touches on the quotation’s “being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t.” Be willing to explore further. Be willing to be wrong. Be willing to challenge yourself!
Too many students do the research and simply copy, or copy “in their own words” exactly what the text or texts say. They don’t think about the topic or the supplied proofs. They don’t examine the veracity or the potential of this information to be disproven by others. Students often simply accept another “professional” point of view.
This quick acceptance is mostly because students often want to be done. I understand that, but don’t shortchange yourself.
If you truly want a good education, to learn the maximum amount you can, it isn’t about memorization so much. It is about using your brain to comprehend what you find and then working with it and previous knowledge (yes, there is some memory of course) to construct your foundation and then begin building your network of knowledge – keeping in mind that at all times you will be open to challenging your thoughts.
The goal is to be able to do something with the information you discover. You don’t simply want to regurgitate it - even if it is “in your own words.”
The odd thing is that if you focus on reading, thinking, and networking your knowledge, your memory will improve automatically!
It’s true. The more you learn, the more you can learn.
You will amaze yourself.
Need a little help finding that path?
Call or e-mail to set up a free information meeting.