1. What do you understand of Einstein’s nature from his conversations with his History teacher, his Maths teacher and the headteacher?
Ans. Albert Einstein from his boyhood showed the signs of his future greatness. He was far ahead of classroom teaching. He was extraordinary, unlike the boys of his age and class. He was forthright and thoughtful. He had his own views on education. Being a free thinker, he thought differently from his History teacher. Mr Braun asked him to tell the date when the Prussians had defeated the French. Albert said frankly that he saw no point in learning dates by heart. Real education, he said, should give ideas rather than facts.
But Albert’s Maths teacher, Mr Koch, had a high opinion about the boy. He readily gave him a testimonial that Albert was fit for studying higher Maths in a college or
The headmaster thought that Albert was a nuisance who made it impossible for the teacher to teach and other pupils to learn.
2. The school system often curbs individual talents. Discuss.
Ans. The school system is defective. It fails to do its job properly. For example, the objective of education is to discover and develop the aptitude and hidden talents in every child. Not all children have similar likes and dislike, or equal intelligence and interest in the subjects taught. But our schools insist on teaching the same things to the entire class. This kills pupils’ creative quality and their original thinking. Einstein was interested in
Maths and Geology and music. Naturally, he came in a clash with his History teacher. He rightly felt miserable in Munich school. He proved his brilliance after leaving Munich.
3. How do you distinguish between information gathering and insight formation?
Ans. History is a bundle of dates and details of battles and political wrestling. The pupils are compelled to learn about kings and wars, about particular dates and places. This is just information gathering. It leaves no scope for questioning the motives behind every battle. Real education should enable a child to think and draw conclusions from whatever he learns. It should prepare him to take initiative and think about ideas. It must develop intellect and should not make pupils behave like parrots.