There is something seriously flawed with our educational model.

In Japan where I live, there are two kinds of students: “maths-sciences” types and “language-history [liberal arts]” types. When asked about what I intend to study, these two phrases commonly fly around.

The problem is, as each individual is unique, it’s hard to fit into a set model of study. While I consider myself to be more maths-sciences leaning, I definitely have a gift for language from God. And I have a terrible time with math, although the sciences I’m taking and intending to take rely heavily on math, like Chemistry and Physics.

Moreover, the class I struggle in most is history or social studies. I just can’t memorize facts. I apply concepts rather than spit out what I memorize onto paper. I guess it also has to do with my more programmer-like nature.

All in all, since each person is unique, so is their learning style, and I”m not talking about interpersonal vs. intrapersonal here.

For me, I can successfully have a passion to learn subjects that I’m not too fond of when science is integrated. For example, take this video:

It integrates the study of numbers with neurology and/or psychology. It’s fascinating. I’d love to be able to rapidly see the connections of numbers, including their factors, by just reading a number. Alas, it comes with practice, which I do not do enough of.

What about history, then? I haven’t found a very viable method of integrating science with history, no matter how interweaved they are. The date of a scientific discovery is often irrelevant, and even more so compared to the order of discoveries. As the saying goes, one “stands on the shoulders of giants.” Dates do not matter as long as the order of said discoveries allow for greater application.

Still, I’m pressing myself to study history. I do not want to become part of

“Those who cannot remember the past [who] are condemned to repeat it.”—George Santayana

and it’s not because of all the terrible things that have happened in the past. It’s because it’s a repeating cycle without any progress, much like an Ouroboros:

Endlessly creating and eating its tail, the sad Ouroboros.

If you can come up with a way for me to enjoy learning history and myself integrating other subjects into it, leave me a comment.

The death of curiosity—the death of learning and education.

I don’t know if this has been said before, but…

The lack of curiosity of a civilization leads to decline in education, which ultimately leads to the end of said civilization.

I don’t see much curiosity to learn anymore in America, or to be broader, Western civilization in general. People seem to be content with what they know, and rather think the gift of knowledge to be a burden that is better not used and thrown away than used to in effect make that “baggage” ligher. We need to be more curious as a whole, especially in this day and age when it’s possible to learn so much online, be it via Wikipedia, Khan Academy, or any other resource.

Update: my English teacher sent me this video, thought it was very relevant.