[OT] Education Theory (was Re: Database Design Theory?)

Shane Hathaway shane at hathawaymix.org
Wed Nov 9 15:00:30 MST 2005

Justin Findlay wrote:
> On 11/9/05, Shane Hathaway <shane at hathawaymix.org> wrote:
>>I've always wondered if I'm odd in the way I learn things, but I've
>>always had far more success if I start with practical applications
>>before moving into theory.  When I start with theory, I don't know why I
>>need to learn it, so my rebellious nature ignores it.  However, when I
>>start with applications, the importance is obvious and most of the
>>theory is intuitive.  Later, I fill in the gaps in my theoretical
>>understanding by talking to people or reading books.
> You're not odd. But there are people out there who learn best by your
> method backwards.

Let me tell you about an experiment I tried in college.  I was having 
trouble getting good grades, so I decided to give up my preferred method 
of learning.  Rather than work on coming to a real understanding of each 
subject, I decided to memorize and regurgitate.  I banned any original 
thought from my mind.  Since that decision, I got A's for two years 
straight.  I learned some useful things like active verbs, Communism, 
and Descartes, but I don't feel like the theory stuck in my head as well 
as it could have.  Is that really learning?  The institution certainly 
encouraged my behavior.


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