The Importance of Holistic Learning

In school it’s often the case that we learn facts without questioning why and how. Curiosity became lost. But how can we gain, or better said ignite, curiosity? It starts with ones own true passion for the subject – may it be whatever it is. Everyone is an expert in something. We should learn to see our own strengths (and also weaknesses), form a collective that’s helping each other to make the best possible effort – but, perhaps not effort, but a kind of passion for the things we teach and study.

Another very important aspect is holistic learning in which one can recognize connections between many different ideas, concepts of theories. It starts with the quastion “Why?”. But why is it so important to teach the ability to view everything as a whole? If we understand something, we “build bridges”, and if we can connect these bridges we can indeed feel a kind of ecstasy for understanding is true joy. But, unfortunately, most people rarely feel this in this very intense form one gets by finding out something by oneself.

As I was a child I said that the entire universe was a jigsaw puzzle. Now I still think it’s true, it’s just more complex in the means that every jigsaw puzzle piece is an entire jigsaw puzzle game itself. This analogy became “more exact” just as Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity could predict gravitational effects far better than the older Newtonian Theory of Gravity. Everything evolves and changes, transforms and develops. We learn from our mistakes and make it better (at least that’s the theory…).

But what does it have to do with holistic learning? Holistic learning enables us to see beyond the borders of our understanding, to grasp the universe and everything it contains as one whole. To understand bigger connections can indeed enlighten us, can make us over-think complicated things and explain them simple. – That’s exactly what mathematics is as well! We try to make complicated things simple, not the other way around!

My conclusion is that holistic learning is not just important because of the fact that it can motivate and inspire us and can ignite curiosity that became lost, but also because of the idea that it also brings us forward in our thinking, in our scientific research and perhaps makes us realize we are all one in a world where separation and hate tear us apart.

 

 

 

Into the Heart of Punk & Math

This is a short reminder that one can be whatever she/he/whatever wants to be! I’m a math enthusiast and have a punk-like appearance, am an artist and writer and lover of the sciences. Some might say it’s an oxmoron, but that’s simply not true. Just because there are many pointless clichés about punks or any other alternative style doesn’t mean they are in any way true!

But before we dig deeper into this matter, I’ll shortly say something about my circumstances and how my love for the sciences evolved.

As I was a child I loved science in general (as far as I could grasp it), I really enjoyed mineralogy and loved to distinguish different gem stones. This was about the time in elementary school. But sadly, as school continued, my love for science, the enthusiasm and especially the curiosity became lost. I was condemned to “learn”, alias memorize, things without being shown of the glorious connections between them. It is really sad, because that’s what I later found in math the most; You can always ask why, and you have to ask it to really understand it ! It doesn’t bring anything to simply memorize, you’ll either forget or don’t know how to process the information properly. I never learnt how to think, instead I only “learnt” what to think. The problem is, if you don’t know how to think what give you all these facts? – They becomes pointless! But perhaps that’s what our world wants; people who obey the system without questioning stupid rules that make no sense, people smart enough to run the machines, but dumb enough to continue to play this deadly game…

However, as school continued I lost all hope for my future, because I had no passions, no interests, no anything anymore. Besides, I made experience with bullying that made it worse as well – but I don’t want pity, I just want to tell everyone of you; It’s okay, it made me strong, strong enough for this world of a superficial society.

In a world where stupefaction is most alive, (true) education is an act of rebellion.

True eductaion? – How can one define it? Well, let me try. True education comes from the inside and is not supplied from the outside (like schools try to do so), it can only be fed by the outside through enthusiasm and truly delightful, inspirational curiosity. Teachers who do their job for their lifes may have a similar philsophy – and I value this kind of teacher by far the most! Not that I don’t respect “ordinary teachers”, but I think that’s not what our world really needs. We need people who can make us think for ourselves, üpeople who give us motivation, teachers who have perhaps a kind of compassion and empathy towards their students/ pupils, because everyone has a different learning style. It is important to understand each other. The relationship between student and teacher is far more important than one might actually think! It can truly shape our future life, makes us go “Uhh, dude, I simply hate science, so much boring facts!”, or it will ignite a flame of pure wonder  in which we’ll be able to see beyond the borders of our own understanding and recognize the holistic connections of the whole, called by us “universe”.

In the end we are all, each of us, students and teachers! I once made an ambigram to this idea. It can be seen in the following video: