Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Know What You Have Learned (Γνωθι μαθων)

(DISCLAIMER: I do not claim to be an expert on anything. I'm merely giving my opinions and interpretations as I see them as being applicable. We are not an absolutist faith, nor do I personally regard the Maxims as "infallible"  hence why I see the need to update things to a modern equivalency)

Maxim:  Γνωθι μαθων or "Know what you have learned"

Modern Interpretation: Don't just memorize information, understand it.

It is easy to memorize information. In fact, a lot of the typical American Public Education system is centered around and focused on simply memorizing things (though, this paradigm is shifting). This also extends to the college environment to some degree. You don't have to analyze the information sometimes, you just have to memorize it. Knowing it, well that is a different story. I can memorize the rules of logic, but can I apply them to my own arguments? Often times when people take a foreign language they just focus on literally translating words and obeying syntax as best they can. They don't attempt to fully understand the words, the cultural contexts, the connotations of the words. They focus on memorizing them.

This is an alright mode of thinking, but it doesn't lead to great things. If you just memorize information and you don't synthesize it with reasoning and your understanding in other fields you aren't doing anything with it. You aren't putting your knowledge to work or advantage. No one ever invented something new simply by memorizing facts, by understanding these facts in depth in relation to themselves and the world around them, they achieved the ability and means to realize and create new possibilities and potential. Memorization will get you by. Application, understanding, and synthesis will bring you to new horizons and possibilities.

This is a useful maxim indeed.
Created by opensourceway on Flickr

1 comment:

  1. i agree, too many exams and educational system, rely solely on what you have memorised rather than what you understand. If you can't remember it, it means you don't understand it, so there would be no point in trying to even memorise it at all! i've learned and memorised stuff in school, that I have not even used in day to day life ie Algebra and trigonometry.. Great blog post there


Total Pageviews

About Me

My photo
A young man living in North Texas. He is an actor, a Hellenistos, and a proud member of Hellenion.