GRE ISSUE ESSAY-1
GRE Issue Essay Samples
"We learn through direct experience; to accept a theory without experiencing it is to learn nothing at all."
The greatest teacher is experience. It is only through first hand experience that any new knowledge can get fixed in the mind. It is rightly said that experience is the best teacher. Anything learnt virtually is only half learnt. Nevertheless, having an experience of the thing puts you at a better position when it comes to learning the concept.
It is the nature's way of teaching things to animals as well as humans. A bird would never be able to learn how to fly unless it flaps its wings. Similarly, when a baby comes to this world, he is absolutely new to the world. As he grows up, he begins to observe and incorporate things that he sees in his life. Once he picks up a thing by observing it, he begins to imitate it and thus learn from it. Unless he touches something hot, he would never know what it is to get burnt. Unless he gets cut from a sharp object, or trips from a higher place, he would never understand the meaning of these things and thus will never learn that he should stay away from such things.
Accepting a theory without experiencing it is to remain passive in life. Without experience, one can never know the nature and the extent of any theory. As the famous saying goes, 'only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches', it can be understood that it is only when one indulges that one comes to know about the difficulties of a task. Whether the task is easy or difficult is a question that can be answered only when it is undertaken. For example, while preparing for an exam, if a student goes by just what is told to him by his tutor, there is no surety of his having learnt his lessons properly. On the other hand, if the student has practiced and solved the lesson on his own, he will have a first-hand experience of the problems. He would solve on his own and find out his capabilities, his weaknesses, and thus get a chance of improving himself. This is learning in the real sense.
However, it is also true that everything cannot be experienced. To learn about the moon and its nature, it is
not essential to go on the moon. The only way a common man can learn about such far reached things or imaginary
theories is when someone tells them something about them. That means you may not have an experience of going
on the moon, but it can be understood and perceived by the human mind. Thus, experience cannot be called the
sole teacher. Learning happens in an environment where the student is ready to learn what is available to him.
Thus, the most important factor in learning is the interest of a student in the subject.
The first step towards learning is made only with the help of a guide. Thus the importance of learning by getting inspired cannot be ignored. It would be an extreme statement to say that without experiencing there is no learning. Learning is a continuous process. It goes on in the subconscious mind, without one's knowledge of it. Since the mind is always working and absorbing things, it has the capacity of picking up ideas and developing them as well. Thus, before you actually experience something the mind has already worked over the issue and prepared a base for it.
Thus,, learning cannot be restricted to a particular manner. Learning requires a participation of the mind and body. Thus, not only is it important to experience the theories, but it is also important that the learner has a mindset for learning and grasping the things he sees.