Estudo e conhecimento

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Esta é uma breve reflexão inspirada pelo texto "Richard Feynman on education in Brazil".

Estudar não deveria ser um ato em si, mas sim em prol do conhecimento. Não é apenas a mera ação, o dito "estudo" por estudar, que se torna um imenso 'fardo enfadonho' e sem sentido. Sem aprendizado efetivo também. Acredito que estudar é um meio de adquirir saberes e isso é um ato tão sublime que, fazendo isso, nem sinto que estou propriamente "estudando", da forma comum e geral que o ato é tratado. Penso que esse é o segredo de estudar o que se gosta, torna-se eficiente e indolor. Sinto quase como se estivesse 'trapaceando', porque as pessoas perguntam: "Nossa, você deve estudar muito né?!" e não é bem assim, porque é uma medida relativa e particular a necessidade de cada um, depende da estratégia e ritmo próprios. No fim, tudo se resume a como você quer aprender o conteúdo. E como esse conhecimento pode e deve ser tão mais aprofundado!

Assim, seguem abaixo trechos do texto supracitado. Conta especificidades ao ensino de exatas, mas que (infelizmente) pode ser muito bem constado na realidade que vejo no atual ensino jurídico¹, por exemplo.
Later I attended a lecture at the engineering school. The lecture went like this, translated into English: “Two bodies… are considered equivalent… if equal torques… will produce… equal acceleration. Two bodies, are considered equivalent, if equal torques, will produce equal acceleration.” The students were all sitting there taking dictation, and when the professor repeated the sentence, they checked it to make sure they wrote it down all right. Then they wrote down the next sentence, and on and on. I was the only one who knew the professor was talking about objects with the same moment of inertia, and it was hard to figure out.
I didn’t see how they were going to learn anything from that. Here he was talking about moments of inertia, but there was no discussion about how hard it is to push a door open when you put heavy weights on the outside, compared to when you put them near the hinge – nothing!
After the lecture, I talked to a student: “You take all those notes – what do you do with them?”
“Oh, we study them,” he says. “We’ll have an exam.”
“What will the exam be like?”
“Very easy. I can tell you now one of the questions.” He looks at his notebook and says, ” ‘When are two bodies equivalent?’ And the answer is, ‘Two bodies are considered equivalent if equal torques will produce equal acceleration.’ ” So, you see, they could pass the examinations, and “learn” all this stuff, and not know anything at all, except what they had memorized.

Then I gave the analogy of a Greek scholar who loves the Greek language, who knows that in his own country there aren’t many children studying Greek. But he comes to another country, where he is delighted to find everybody studying Greek – even the smaller kids in the elementary schools. He goes to the examination of a student who is coming to get his degree in Greek, and asks him, “What were Socrates’ ideas on the relationship between Truth and Beauty?” – and the student can’t answer. Then he asks the student, “What did Socrates say to Plato in the Third Symposium?” the student lights up and goes, “Brrrrrrrrr-up” – he tells you everything, word for word, that Socrates said, in beautiful Greek.

But what Socrates was talking about in the Third Symposium was the relationship between Truth and Beauty!

What this Greek scholar discovers is, the students in another country learn Greek by first learning to pronounce the letters, then the words, and then sentences and paragraphs. They can recite, word for word, what Socrates said, without realizing that those Greek words actually mean something. To the student they are all artificial sounds. Nobody has ever translated them into words the students can understand.

I said, “That’s how it looks to me, when I see you teaching the kids ‘science’ here in Brazil.” (Big blast, right?)

Well, after I gave the talk, the head of the science education department got up and said, “Mr. Feynman has told us some things that are very hard for us to hear, but it appears to be that he really loves science, and is sincere in his criticism. Therefore, I think we should listen to him. I came here knowing we have some sickness in our system of education; what I have learned is that we have a cancer!” – and he sat down.

¹"Professor, não entendi o artigo..." "- Então leia de novo!" :P