I had started writing a essay on learning and the brain and
current understandings about it, and realized as it grew HUGE that it revolved around examining some rhetorical
questions. Here are some of the core questions, with their import and details left
as an exercise to the readers and commenters, unless there is significant
interest in a particular one being addressed in some future essay.
Compare and contrast data,
information, and knowledge.
Why do people use them
interchangeably, and what problems arise when people do?
Compare and contrast school
Must one imply the other
(or the other, one)?
Compare and contrast smart
Why do educated people get
them confused so much more often than smart people (both in themselves and
Compare and contrast teaching
How do you measure the
effectiveness of a teacher?
Compare and contrast knowing,
understanding and wisdom.
How does one get turned
into the other?
Compare and contrast intrinsic
aptitude and interest.
Can one be leveraged into
the other, or are they merely randomly connected?
What is the most important thing a human should learn?
Rank, in order, the top 10
things one should learn by voting age. Why?
How can you tell truth from falsity?
How often do you ask
yourself “how do I know that? What
are my assumptions?”
At its most basic (biological) level, what is learning?
What makes this happen?
How are repetition and strong emotional tagging different?
Is it important for children or young adults to learn how the brain learns and works at some point, before they become an adult?
How could learning this help children in school?
How can a neural connection be strengthened, or made more interconnected
Compare and contrast a
single, strong connection, with highly interconnected knowledge.
How many strong emotional “tags” are there in a very safe,
nearly risk-free, environment?
Would this present a
challenge to learning?
What makes the brain think something is important enough to
learn (that is, remember and think about enough to apply the knowledge later)?
What is the brain designed to do, and in what sort of
WHY? HOW? Can we use this to help teach and learn?