The Role of Culture in Learning
After reading The Activity and Art of Reading by Mortimer J. Alder and Charles Van Doren, the wheels in my mind were left turning and I had to re-read it. This is not because I did not understand what they had written, but because I wanted to understand everything perfectly. They did make a lot of valid points; one of them being, “There is the book; and here is your mind. As you go through the pages, either you understand perfectly everything that author has to say or you do not. If you do, you may have gained information, but you could not have increased your understanding.” (Adler & Van Doren, 2010) When reading that line, at first, I was puzzled because of the author’s tricky wording. After I re-read the sentence, I then understood it from their point of view. If you understand the text perfectly, there is nothing more to try to understand; thus, you cannot increase your level of knowledge. We do not further our knowledge just from understanding the text, but by retrieving new information. It is the student’s responsibility to learn what their teachers are teaching them, and different cultures provide different learning environments for both the students and teachers. In the text, the author’s argue that a teacher can help students, but the student must do the learning. This is just like the saying, “you can take the horse to water but you cannot make it drink.” The teachers are there to teach, however the responsibility and the longing lies ultimately within the student. The teachers do their part by trying to simplify and explain the information into our heads, while the students must open their minds in order to understand and increase their knowledge. I agree with the authors on this argument; the choice is up to you and no one can force anything on you. “If you ask a living teacher a question, he will probably answer you. If you are puzzled by what he says, you can save yourself the trouble of thinking by asking him what...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document