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Why are we learning the material that we are learning?

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Introduction

Why are we learning the material that we are learning? Learning a variety of different subjects in school, falling under such categories as the sciences, humanitarian, linguistics, the arts and otherwise, it is often lingering in a student's mind how exactly this seemingly irrelevant information could possibly be beneficial later on in life. Although I am myself prone to this thought more often than I'd like to admit, looking at education from a broader, more objective standpoint, there are very valuable reasons to why exactly education is important to us, even when we fail to realise it. On the most basic level, we learn as young children to speak, read, write and tackle simple maths problems in order to communicate. Maths and sciences make up a large part of the academic curriculum for many students; it is four out of nine GCSE's for me personally. Subjects such as chemistry, physics, biology and maths are valuable in that they help us to understand the physical workings of the world and answer some very basic questions of 'How?' and 'Why?'. In order to understand the mechanics of the world in which we reside, we need to turn to the knowledge of scientists, doctors, inventors of the past and their theories. Biology (and also chemistry to some extent) ...read more.

Middle

Being in a foreign country and knowing the language is always helpful. Not only that, but it allows us to communicate to a wider range of people; to connect and understand people from different backgrounds, religions and races. This encourages us become more respectful and tolerant of all those around us. To explore these cultures and the world around us in even more depth there are the humanitarian subjects, such as History and Geography (the only two that are available in school at the moment). These subjects allow us to delve into the past and learn about past civilisations or situations. For example, in History, studying different cultures, their customs of living and structures of society allows us to pinpoint their mistakes and their successes and to learn from both. Studying different social or political trends demonstrates to us which structures work and which do not. In theory a principal may work well but in reality it can have unforeseen consequences. Knowing about ancient civilisations and world wars allows us (as a society) not to make the same mistakes again. If we knew nothing about what happened in history, then we would inevitably make the same mistakes again and again. We cannot look into the future, but there is nothing to stop us from learning from the past. ...read more.

Conclusion

Through learning a variety of these subjects we are able to learn more about the world in which we live and about ourselves. Perhaps this can lead to answers to as to why there are so many problems, be it social, economic, political or otherwise in the world. Although not every student who learns about Mozart will become a musical genius, it is not invaluable for an artist to know about the world wars, neither is it invaluable for a doctor to appreciate to appreciate the work of Dali nor a mechanic to be aware of the ideals of Communism. Given the basic fundamentals to work with, it is obviously up to us to apply these facts we have learnt to practical situations. But without these foundations that education provides us, we would be left without thousands, even millions of years of knowledge that has been accumulated over the ages. In addition to this, although at the end of the day memorising formulas or the properties of rocks may not be immediately beneficial, becoming a doctor and saving someone's life or building a self-sustainable community in a developing country is extremely valuable. It is the continual and gradual build up of this knowledge that is valuable. Small disjointed pieces of information may be unhelpful, but it is the accumulation of these facts that matter. Ultimately I think that education, hopefully, helps us to be a little less ignorant and a little more aware about the world in which we live and about ourselves. ...read more.

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