By Laurie Ferrari
“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”
– Confucius –
Though I now work as an Instructional Designer, I spent nearly 30 years teaching high school mathematics. As cliché-ish as it might sound, it really was a rewarding career. But at some point every year, one of my students would ask, “When will I ever have to know this?” To be fair, quite often this question would arise during our unit on “imaginary numbers.” And if you’re not planning to be an electrical engineer, a quantum physicist, or a math teacher, I guess the real answer is, “Maybe never.” But each year when this question was posed, I would talk about learning with my students and how we should value the opportunity to learn – relatively easily, I might add – what our predecessors and ancient mathematicians discovered. Is “knowledge for the sake of knowledge” a bad thing?
These are the four possibilities:
And just because something is not enjoyable doesn’t mean it’s not good for you. I mean, you might not like going to the dentist, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go. So even if learning – or the training your employer provides – doesn’t seem gratifying at the time, at least appreciate the opportunity.
“The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.”
– Aristotle –