Understanding

  • Return of the Primitive

    To understand means to focus on the content of a given subject (as against the sensory — visual or auditory — form in which it is communicated), to isolate its essentials, to establish its relationship to the previously known, and to integrate it with the appropriate categories of other subjects. Integration is the essential part of understanding.

    The predominance of memorizing is proper only in the first few years of a child’s education, while he is observing and gathering perceptual material. From the time he reaches the conceptual level (i.e., from the time he learns to speak), his education requires a progressively larger scale of understanding and progressively smaller amounts of memorizing.