Category: Education

  • Why are we curious? And how can we be more curious?

    Herbert A Simon, the noted Economist, gave a talk at Carnegie Mellon University in 1992 which was titled “The Cat that Curiosity Couldn’t Kill.” It is a rather interesting (and slightly humorous) read into how and why scientists study things. He said that curiosity is not just the beginning of all science, it is also…

  • Lego Blocks and Buildings: Does art need structure?

    During my Undergraduate years, I dabbled with quite a bit of poetry and especially the spoken word variety. One of the recurring ideas I used to think about during those days were about rhymes and how forced rhymes are really bad. As a Literature student, I also studied about rhythm and meter and I always…

  • To learn better you must teach: Importance of Articulation in learning

    One of the popular methods of learning a new subject is what is known as the Feynman Technique. Numerous books and blogs talk about the method. It is said that Richard Feynman, The Nobel Prize winning Physicist only considered to have learned something if he could give an introductory lecture on it.(P85, How to Take…

  • The Skills of Abstraction and Specification

    Each one of us has been taught to brush our teeth at a very young age. Now we might have been taught to do so using a green brush or a blue brush (or a brush of some other colour). Today if we were given a brush of a different colour that doesn’t mean we…

  • Focus on the big idea!

    Educationists often talk about the question of curriculum. It is common to hear teachers lament the constant pressure to cover the syllabus. This is rather unfortunate, because the goal of education shouldn’t be to cover a lot of things, but rather to uncover the few important things. How then do we decide what are the…

  • Hitler, Churchill, Kardashian, and why we study poetry

    A few months ago I was gripped by an almost existential question – why do we teach poetry. I call this existential because as an English teacher (in-training), teaching poetry was a large part of what I had chosen to do for the rest of my life. And yet, try as I might, I found…

  • Illusions and survivorship bias

    Most of us have seen optical illusions. Often these are fun exercises. But why do we keep falling for such illusions? It is because our minds are seeing and interpreting the vision at the same time. The brain is using past experience to fill in the gaps and find reference points for what we’re seeing.…

  • Environments that foster creativity

    I recently started reading the book, “Flow and the Psychology of Creativity” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. One of the lines I found really interesting was this: It is easier to enhance creativity by changing conditions in the environment than by trying to make people think more creatively. This comes in the context of constantly coming across…

  • Why you need to take notes as a student of the Social Sciences

    I’m sure all of us know that feeling of sitting down to do your assignment and half an hour later the page has one word: “Introduction” Writing lengthy essays for College is not easy. This is especially true if you are a student of the Social Sciences (I don’t really know how Engineering or Medical…

  • Critical Reading: Try to be a filter not a sponge

    The phrase try to be a filter not a sponge is a line from the book Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I read the book a few years ago and that one line has stuck with me through these years. But how exactly does one do that? As many of you readers…

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