On the subject of studying, Fancis Bacon (1601) declared, “If a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit; and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he doth not (p.1). According to Bacon, if a person isn’t educated, they’d best be in possession of a great amount of natural talent to compensate for their lack. They must have an outstanding memory and they must be witty and cunning. Then again, if a person held each of those attributes, it would be a shame if they didn’t increase their ability by getting an education. It is clear that no one can reach their full potential without furthering their ...view middle of the document...
Farmers often become very strong because of their physical labor. Education shouldn’t come easily either. Just as farming strengthens the muscles, studying will strengthen the mind.
Perhaps the most obvious way to learn is to pay attention. According to Hugh Nibley (1978), each person is responsible for the choice they make about what subject will occupy their attention. He says, “There seems to be a kind of filter inside the head which weakens unwanted signals without blocking them out. Out of the background of the mind constantly signals deliberate choices” (p.1). Nibley (1978) goes on to assert: “Sin is waste. It is doing one thing when you should be doing other and better things for which you have the capacity. Hence, there are no innocent idle thoughts” (p.2). According to Nibley, every idle thought is a sin. Nibley’s ideals do not allow daydreaming thought classes. Minds should not lie dormant and unused for the duration of meetings and lessons. Adler (1904) described obtaining deeper knowledge this way: “You don’t absorb the ideas of John Dewey the way you absorb the crooning of Mr. Vallee. You have to reach for them. That you cannot do while you’re asleep” (p.2). Well educated people make a choice to learn. They actively listen.
To simply hear what the teacher says, or to read what is in a book is not enough. The next step is to ponder what has been taught. Mortimer Adler ((1904) said: “You know you have to read “between the lines” to get the most out of anything” (p.1). Bacon (1601) said, Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider” (p.1). Bacon and Adler spoke of reading, but this insight is true of all information received. New knowledge should be heard with a humble, open mind. The information does not need to be readily accepted, or discarded without a fair trial, but it should be evaluated for its significance.
A well-educated person will learn, and learn on purpose. Attaining knowledge is the responsibility of the student, though students often complain that the reason they didn’t understand or learn a certain subject was the inadequacy of the teacher. The student ought to do homework and outside research in order to learn a subject. McCullough prescribes books as a remedy to a lack of knowledge. He says
Learning is not to be found on a printout. It’s not on call at the touch of the finger. Learning is acquired mainly from books, and most readily from great books. And from teachers, and the more learned and empathetic the better. And from work, concentrated work (p. 2).
McCulluogh wants to convey that a good education is complex enough that in cannot be obtained through just one source of information. Finding a great teacher is part of what goes into a great education. The other part is students putting their time into finding knowledge and investing themselves in books, searching in earnest for the knowledge they desire.