Education is not the learning of facts but training the mind to think


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Do Schools teach Critical Thinking?

Education is not the learning of facts but training the mind to think

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Education is not the learning of facts Quote Explanation

Our school education system is focussing only on learning many facts but gives seldom importance to training our mind to think.

Main Topic: Education Quotes

Related Topics: Learning, Fact, Training, Mind, Thinking

Education is not the learning of facts but training the mind to think

Author: Albert Einstein

Source: Einstein: His Life and Times by Philipp Frank

Quotation Reference:

Einstein once was asked in a questionnaire “What is the speed of sound?”. Einstein’s answered, “I don’t carry information in my mind that’s readily available in books.”. Einstein always thought that one should not go to college to learn mere facts which he gets from the books directly. The value of education should be to train the mind of the student to think which cannot be learned from textbooks.

Some people when they come to the words ‘critical thinking’, the thoughts that cross their minds are ‘confrontation’, ‘criticize the views/decisions’, ‘devoid of emotions’, ‘serves only in the professional world’. Through this blog post, I hope to clarify some of the misconceptions about thinking critical which would enable us to utilize the critical thinking ability to make sound decisions.

Today, the world is very different, the way we work and live has been transformed. Is it a transformation that we hoped for? The problems that we face are becoming increasingly complex.

Are we teaching thinking in schools? Our school education system is focussing only on feeding facts and getting higher grades but does not give importance for thinking skills such as critical thinking and creative thinking.

Critical Thinking in School Admission Scenario

Consider an example where you are planning to enroll your child in a school.
One of your good friends is sending his child to school ‘X’. Would you be emotionally biased and go with the assumption the school is good for your child as well? Or would you evaluate what suits your child better before considering enrolling to school ‘X’? Here you would most likely employ the degree of critical or logical thinking which would help in deciding the school for your child.

What is critical thinking

On 1987, National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking defined it as “the disciplined process of skillfully conceptualizing, analyzing, applying, synthesizing, evaluating information gathered or generated by, experience, observation, reasoning, reflection, or through communication, either to guide towards belief or action.”

Putting it simply, it is thinking clearly and rationally.

In our lives, we are taking decisions on a regular basis both in our personal and professional lives. There is always room for improvement in our thinking abilities which will help us in arriving at solutions/decisions.

Critical Thinking is Skill, not Inborn Talent

Good critical thinking is a skill. Consider a sport that you like. You would first understand how the game is supposed to be played..the rules to be followed. Then you would apply this knowledge to practice. If you truly enjoy the sport, you would have a right attitude in improving your performance and becoming a skilled player. A similar approach requires being taken for your critical or logical thinking as well.

In my subsequent blog, I would discuss the critical thinking process to improve our critical thinking ability. Hope you would utilize this knowledge in your life to ease the decision-making process; thus becoming a good critical thinker.

The essence of an education should be to increase the ability of students to think critically and protect themselves from misrepresentation and distortion of facts - may once have been taught in schools, but, today it is completely neglected. It is unfortunate that in this 21st century, it is one of the predominant skill which is of paramount importance for students in succeeding in this competitive world. Read more on

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About Nisha Gopalakrishnan 15 Articles
A software professional, blogger and an enthusiast of latest technology news and startup ideas.

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