Educationrefers to the process of transferring knowledge, skills, values,beliefs and behaviors of a group through story-telling, discussions,teaching, training or research. Perhaps education is the mostinfluential, impacting force to many individuals. Furthermore, it isconsidered to be the key to success or the driving force intoexcellence. Besides, some say education is a factory that transfersboys into men or ordinary people into extra-ordinary people. As such,the role of education should not be over-estimated since it impactsheavily on an individual’s current and future life. Therefore, thethesis of this paper focuses on comparing and contrasting differentperceptions between two scholarly personalities of their views oneducation Richard Feynman and Frank Newman. Feynman to begin withhad a very interesting experience as far as education is concerned(Quora.com).He was once a teacher in Brazil and taught a variety of units todifferent students. He taught in such fields as physics, mathematicsand engineering.
Whileteaching in these fields, he realized that the students were onlygrasping whatever they were taught at the moment but could not figureit out during their next class. This got him distraught on the actualrole that education needed to venture into concerning the future ofthose students. Nevertheless, Feynman noted that he could teach andask questions in the same class, and the response was right. On thecontrary, he would examine the same interrogations, but the responsewas very pitiable. He realized that most of the students would noteven ask questions for fear of neglect from their peers. Thesestudents never took education as a serious curriculum undertaking,but they were only joking around it they could not memorize whateverwas being taught in class. They would only do well in exams, but theyknew nothing about practical applications of the syllabus. Accordingto Feynman, self-learning was very crucial and practical on ensuringhe was understanding the concept before the teacher taught it inclass.
However,many students learn without having practical experiences they onlylearn without imagining and experimenting things. For Feynman, he wasvery smart in self-study and was determined in carrying outexperiments as well as looking into things so as to have theprecision of ides he learned (Quora.com).As such, he did not get blinded by education as he was progressingevery day and disparagingly thinking nearly on everything and lookingthings for himself. For him, this was all that practical educationentails. According to him, being creative, open-minded, clear andinnovative is all it takes to be smart. As an academician, there is anecessity to grasp everything at once and look out for the possiblecourse of action. Furthermore, there is an impression of hard work inFeynman character that is highly emphasized. According to him, heused to evaluate himself using the end of chapter exams and othertests that he nearly could get everything in them. As such,acquisition of knowledge is very important for it is very beneficialin every aspect of life. Thus, practical knowledge makes man be abetter and advantaged creature than the ulterior beings.
Newman,on the other hand, views education at the highest risks of economicand social excellence. He argues that modern universities andcolleges stand at a time where every society requires their membersto have had acquainted and quenched themselves in the sea ofeducation. With mild expectations concerning this, societies presumetheir help to arise from the learned elites to help solve thecomplications existing within these institutions in terms ofworkforce and expertise. Therefore, the knowledge learned from theseinstitutions offers a greater scope for better opportunities andprogression of these societies. As such, the elites engagesthemselves in rigorous research to aid eradicating both social andeconomic problems. Additionally, education promotes acompetitive-oriented culture to counter the inadequate skills andattitudes that young people introduces to their roles either asworkers and citizens (Newmanreader.org).As a result, education serves as the main avenue for change byoffering a greater opportunity for improving learning, broadeningaccess or focusing much attention on how to economically, effectivelyand efficiently utilize the available resources. In pursuit of this,it follows that in many societies, most labor is either skilled,semi-skilled, or unskilled. Moreover, the resources found in thesesocieties are either utilized, unutilized or never utilized. As such,sound governance and proper management of these resources are anecessity.
Lookingat both scholars, there is an aspect divergence in their views abouteducation. In Newman’s text, there is an aspect of technology thatis highly emphasized that was not a content in Feynman’s context.The acquisition of knowledge is not the same education for Newman.Moreover, in Newman’s text, he is thinking more of Arts thananything else which are part of social sciences. Newman argues thatthe development of knowledge is not in studying rationality orthrough the science of thinking but by contemplating aboutconventional objects. Additionally, the teaching of all courses inUniversity seemed controversial and undesired thing for Newman as itteaches universal knowledge rather than individual knowledge. As aresult, it looks more of an impractical knowledge contrary to theFeynman’s standpoint. For Feynman, he viewed the diversity ofcourses as an outstanding cliff for national and internationalopportunity to explore more in this world.
Additionally,the diversity in their views is also seen in the way of obtainingknowledge. Feynman did a lot by himself by reading ahead of theteacher and evaluated himself with tests in exclusion of theteacher’s examinations. He was very brilliant and open-minded aswell as being creative. Whenever there was doubt on a particularconcept, he would indulge in a vigorous experiments and criticalthinking on the subject, and he was always having a breakthrough. Onthe other hand, self-learning is not an emphasis by Newman. Instead,he focuses on what institutions such as University and collegesshould teach whereby he suggests that they should not teachimpractical and undesired courses that offer universal knowledge.
Inconclusion, therefore, education plays a pivotal role in thedevelopment of personality and society at large. Unanimously, it isclear that education, helps in competency level of individuals suchthat, the most learned members of the society replaces most of thelabor force that do not have the adequate skills to carry outtechnical jobs. As such, they provide skilled labor and theirexpertise of operation in the given fields. Furthermore, itguarantees projection of society’s way of life through soundgovernance and skilled management of their resources that wouldotherwise be unutilized, underutilized or over utilized. Moreover,education grants people the capacity to be open-ended in theirthinking by always having the urge to learn more and more. As such,education should as well be practical in such a way that it shouldhave simplicity and testability.
Newmanreader.org,NewmanReader – Idea of a University – Discourse 5.2015. Web 14 October 2015.
Quora.com,`The Differences between the Way Richard Feynman Taught HimselfPhysics and Math, And The Way Other Academics Learned – Quora`. N.P.,2015. Web. 14 Oct. 2015.