How to succeed in an unloved affair?

    When I was in eighth grade, I lost interest in school and began to skip school. But I did not hang around the street and did not sit at home, as you might think. Every day, for six months, I went out of the house in the morning, pretending to be going to school, but in fact, going to the city library.

    Quite an unusual choice for someone who has lost interest in learning.

    I don’t know what came over me, but one fine day, the learning process in the form of memorizing standard textbooks was so boring for me that I decided that I had enough.

    Now I am 30 years old, and I can say that I did not regret that decision for a second, despite the fact that it had a painful effect on my “education.” Sitting in the library, I got the opportunity to study books on history, physics, geometry, chemistry - in any order and in any quantities.

    Why was it "changing the flea", if I still did the same thing that I was forced to do at school?

    Scientific pedagogy

    About two hundred years ago, the German philosopher, Ph.D. and founder of scientific pedagogy, Johann Friedrich Herbart, formulated the goal of general education: to arouse interest in knowledge.

    I must say that today, when I look at this postulate from the 21st century, I admire the independence of the mind that formulated it. So that you understand why: modern pedagogy believes that the purpose of education is to give a person the knowledge, abilities and skills necessary for work and prepare him for work.

    The difference between these two approaches is not just enormous, it is fundamental. While Herbart cared about the implementation and success of each student, modern pedagogy cares about the state, or, if you like, "society".

    However, such a model is doomed to failure, because the “modern approach” does not take into account the interest and interests of the student. Why take them into account? After all, not everything is interesting in the world, there is a lot of uninteresting things, but you also need to know and be able to do this.


    To answer this question, we will have to go a little deeper into the subject, and answer the question, what is interest?

    For some, this question may sound ridiculous, because there are things that we never think about, it seems to us that they are self-evident. It’s the same as trying to answer the question “what is desire?”

    However, if a person wants to be successful and realized, it is necessary to answer this question, because it is even intuitively clear that interest is something fundamental, therefore, it would be a mistake not to figure out how it works.

    Cognitive sciences define interest as the main driver of human motivation. We knew this, so far nothing new.
    But here is something that you may not have known: interest is divided into situational and individual, or, as it is sometimes called, steady.

    The first type, situational, arises spontaneously, under the influence of temporary external factors, from which it is obvious that it disappears as soon as the conditions change.

    Of course, this is directly related to memory, and memory is directly related to intelligence, but within the framework of this article, we will not delve into these issues. It is enough to say that data whose value is due to external factors is not stored in memory for a long time.

    The second type, the individual one, is more stable and is born from internal motives, it is the presence of internal interest that gives rise to the very “motivation” that it has been so fashionable to talk about over the past few years. From this, by the way, we can conclude about the benefits of “motivators”.

    It is believed that a person experiencing an “individual interest” is inclined to engage in an object of this interest for the sake of the process itself and familiarization with the subject, and not for the sake of fulfilling conditional tasks, as in the first case.

    Of course, I am not saying that the first type of interest is "bad", and the second is "good." Solid, collected people often criticize those who "undertakes everything in a row." I myself have such acquaintances whose interests are replaced with an amazing speed for me.

    If this situational interest is combined with a strong internal interest, the person has a chance to grow into a “ T-Shaped man ”. Gabe Newell believes that such people have a future. Of course, provided that the situational interest "lasted" long enough for a person to learn at least something in this area.

    But why, after all, is the modern model of education not effective?

    Interest Studies

    For three hundred years of scientific research, we have received enough evidence that without a strong sustainable internal interest, the learning process is not effective.

    In 1990, Professor Ulrich Schieffel conducted one of these studies in order to identify differences in the depth of perception of the text among students with different levels of individual interest in the subject.

    Students were asked to read the text and answer questions about the content. A preliminary familiarity with the subject and the level of intelligence of the respondents were used as a control variable.

    Four types of studies were carried out, differing in the type of test questions: open-ended questions, free retelling, or reconnaissance tests.

    The results of the first type of research (open-ended questions) revealed a positive correlation between the level of interest of subjects and the quality of answers to questions. However, it is noted that it was observed only in the case of complex issues requiring a deep understanding, comparison and analysis of information.

    Whereas in the answers to simple questions, where it was necessary to recall disparate details, the correlation was insignificant.

    Thus, we can conclude that interest affects the process of processing, assimilation, analysis and comparison of information, and to a lesser extent the memorization of disparate details.

    During the second type of research, a text was used that contained a large number of unfinished or incorrect statements.

    The results revealed a significant correlation between interest and the total number of proposals and main ideas. However, in the course of a detailed analysis, it turned out that this was true only for completed sentences, new information, and truthful statements. While interest practically did not affect the memorization of incorrect statements and unfinished sentences.

    In addition, interest significantly influenced the sequence and structure of memorization - the information received was not just memorized, it was integrated into the subjects' knowledge system. Perhaps this can also explain the fact that the memorization of incorrect and incomplete statements did not increase - they simply could not find a place in the knowledge system.

    Thus, based on only these two types of studies, we can conclude that the level of interest not only extensively affects the quality of memorization, but also activates fundamentally different processes - analysis and information processing.

    It would be reasonable to assume that it is the involvement of these processes that turns information into knowledge.

    It is curious that similar results were obtained by researchers Karl. A. Benver and Edward L. Disney in 1984, as well as Wendy Grolnik and Richard M. Ryan in 1987.

    What does all this mean?

    I would like you to draw your own conclusions, however, I have to obey the laws of the genre.

    The education system, in the form in which it exists in this country, is not effective. And I'm not talking about the political situation, I'm talking about the fundamental orientation of education as a system.

    What was obvious three hundred years ago, namely, that without interest you should not expect the quality of knowledge, today sounds like a revelation. However, let's take a look around and see how many obstacles stand in the way of human knowledge.

    When I was in eighth grade, fortunately, there was no Internet yet, therefore, nothing (except school) interfered with my interest in science.

    We are used to considering interest as something optional, literally as a whim. Because "in addition to the word" I want ", there is the word" must "." One can argue for a long time how much and how this is due to the fact that a person’s profession should be relevant, that “you always want to eat,” that “you can marry (work) by calculation, and love will follow.”

    Personally, I don’t believe in all this, I believe that people make a big mistake choosing a profession based on market requirements, parents' expectations, or “relevance”. These are all external factors, conditionality.

    Think about what would happen to the world if there weren’t people abnormal in it to the point of devoting life to studying how to reproduce spores? Or if Tim Bernes Lee decided that science is not very profitable, and would go to trade on the stock exchange?

    [R] evolution

    I do not want to organize revolutions, especially since all this has been said thousands of times before me. But, it seems to me, we often underestimate the fundamental concepts, precisely because they are in plain sight.

    Interest is one such concept. Of course, without interest, you can do something, I myself have just cited the results of studies that confirm this. To memorize a dozen terms and a hundred combinations, say, to work on the assembly line, no interest is needed.

    The problem is that from the description itself it becomes obvious that this activity lends itself to complete algorithmization, which means that sooner or later it will be delegated to machines.

    However, it will be rather late than early, as long as we live in the existing education system, which was designed to fill jobs.

    The paradox is that now the cart is ahead of the horse, and jobs need to be created for the existing education system, because if we replace tram drivers with autopilots and collectors with robots, who will feed all these people?

    What to do?

    It seems to me that we need to start by stopping treating interest as a whim. Herbart believed that interest can be aroused in every person. Of course, here I want to argue with him, after all, it sounds idealistic. But just imagine what the world would look like if everyone went about their own business.

    Of course, the question remains "how to find your own business?" For many, this question is not worth it - these lucky children from childhood know what they want to do, and even pragmatic parents cannot always dissuade them, from which a lot of conflicts, misunderstanding, insults, broken hopes and expectations are born. Also thanks to old thinking, by the way.

    For others, the answer is simple - you need to try everything. Of course, it would be ideal if your parents raised you in accordance with an intensive model of development, and not extensive, and if at school children were divided not by quantitative and age characteristics, but by more meaningful ones.

    But these are all subjunctive moods, and what can be done right now is to go and do what you always wanted, but there wasn’t time, or courage, because “you won’t make money from it.”

    No need to wait for the “right moment”, no need to wait for Monday to “start a new life”. You need to find the strength in yourself (while they still exist) and remember what you have always dreamed about.

    You wanted to understand chemistry, but no one could explain to you what all these equations mean? You want to sing, but they explained to you that you have no hearing? Do you want to draw, but are afraid that nobody needs it?

    Interest is a unique natural filter that forces us to do what we can achieve high-quality results in. But for some reason, we decided that this is nothing more than a whim, and we need to deal not with what is interesting, but with what is beneficial.

    Imagine, for a second, if there weren’t people in the world who resist such an attitude, and do what they are interested in, despite how prestigious and profitable it is, spending all their energy and money on it.

    If there weren’t abnormal ones who forgot about sleep, food and their own family mess with molds? Who would discover penicillin? How would we know about neuroplasticity if it weren't for the strange people delving into the medical histories of people with mental disorders? If there weren’t people in the world who like to treat teeth? It’s hard for me to imagine that someone may like it, but I know a dentist, to whom the line is scheduled for six months ahead, because he knows everything about dentistry. And his parents dreamed that he was an official. If people were guided solely by earnings considerations, who would write forensic books? Who would teach future investigators?

    Smartprogress- A launching pad for people who want to do what they are interested in, no matter what. We help people find their true calling, or just getting better with each new project, with each new goal achieved. Let it not be so ambitious, even at first it seems like a small victory, or even defeat. But these victories and defeats help us better understand who we are, understand what we want, what we need, learn to distinguish one from the second. It happens that people set a goal, but quickly give up, realizing that they are not interested in the process, they just want the result. They like to represent him, but do not find enough interest in themselves to methodically engage in the process. Feel how a condemnation arises in you towards them?

    But how else can we understand what we need? It is believed that you need to overcome yourself, find strength, force ... But listen to any fan of their work - they do not force themselves to do their job! They force themselves not to give up - that's right. Ignore the failures, defeats, and the “advice” of friends to find a normal job, settle down, calm down - yes, as much as you like. But forcing yourself to do what they cannot live without? That is unlikely.

    We have a lot to learn from these people, and we, together with SmartProgress participants, learn, make mistakes, learn our weaknesses and strengths, gradually learn to get rid of imposed, imaginary ambitions, and focus on our true goals, abilities, and - mission.

    Join now. We will grow together.

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