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Malcolm X

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Malcolm X used literacy as the main tool to gain knowledge. If Malcolm X were alive today he would have been just as likely to have needed and valued literacy. Writing can be used as a means of increasing understanding of complex subjects. Technology can prove to be too distracting for cognitive learning. Malcolm X used writing as a way to memorize and better understand words. While imprisoned in the Charleston Prison he began to copy the dictionary from beginning to end. In doing so Malcolm started thinking about the words he had written down and even remembering their meanings. In today[‘]s era of TV and video Malcolm X would have surely valued literacy equally as he did in his time.

The act of writing helps the writer better understand complex subjects. In the case of Malcolm X the copying of the dictionary helped him broaden his vocabulary and gave him a better understanding of written works. [During his prison studies Malcolm X realizes a connection between writing and cognitive learning. “ I woke the next morning, thinking about those words immensely proud to realize that not only had I written so much at one, time but id written words that I never knew were in the world. Moreover, with little effort, I also could remember what many of these words meant.”] As Malcolm continued to learn new words, he was able to pick up a book for the first time, read it and understand what the book was saying. There is good evidence that writing things down might in fact help the writer remember things better. While Malcolm X was re writing the dictionary he was absorbing more than if he was to watch a video or television.

[deleted]Malcolm X compares the dictionary to a miniature encyclopedia. [ “with every succeeding page, I also learned of people and events from history. Actually the dictionary is like a miniature encyclopedia.”] As he proceeded to re write the dictionary he found himself learning about people, places and events from history. In todays era of technology television programs and videos can be too distracting for cognitive learning. The overwhelming amount of entertaining media can prove distracting when using television or movies as a learning tool. One must be able to differentiate the educational programs from entertaining fictional programs. The dictionary [,]however[,] is filled with factual knowledge and is a more effective learning tool.

Malcolm X accredits most of his knowledge to the time he spent imprisoned. In his time in jail he had [few] distractions, which allowed him to better absorb knowledge. In today’s technologically driven world there are many more distractions than in the past. With distractions such as television, movies and video games one can be content with just passing time rather than learning and further increasing their knowledge. Malcolm X emphasizes the harm of distractions on cognitive learning. Had he lived in today[‘]s technologically driven world he would have had many more distractions to worry about.

If Malcolm X had lived in today’s era of television and video he would have needed and valued literacy all the same. Malcolm’s desire to learn would have pushed him away from the distractions of television and videos. Even in today[‘] world Malcolm would have valued the dictionary as his main source of knowledge. Motivated to learn as much as he could he would have used writing as his major tool in cognitive learning. Only by copying the dictionary was Malcolm X able to absorb as much knowledge as he did.

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