I remember when I learned atomic structure in chemistry on the first grade of SMA. I was completely clueless about the material. What is Wien’s displacement? What is photoelectric effect? How is atomic model found? What is Brackett series? What is the reason of electron configuration and quantum number being used? What is the interconnection of each subtopics? I received random information which I had to memorize without consideration. Back then, I never realized why the information could be like that, how it could come like that, or what benefits I could get from learning it. I just memorized it since the teachers (from inside and outside my school) never explained those things in detail, they just asked me to memorize it. But surprisingly, I forget about it now (two years later). In my opinion, we can easily forget something when we haven’t processed them well in our brain, in this case, we only memorize, not understand it. So, the solution of this problem is simply understanding the information. But, how can we apply the understanding skill into our thinking? We get used to just memorizing something since primary school. We ‘love’ memorizing. We ‘love’ getting instructed and prohibited by our teachers and parents without knowing the object. We ‘love’ thinking simply and conveniently. Probably, we don’t realize them, but we do.
I am really glad by the presence of curriculum 2013. I think it is the best tool to revolutionize our thinking, so that we get used to thinking by understanding. But, it is impossible to execute well curriculum 2013 because it is confusing about what methods the teachers must carry out. We need professor-level teachers to do so. Perhaps, I talk too far. To specify, I will give example for what makes us ‘love’ thinking simply and conveniently. It is not entirely our fault. It is the education system too. The system gives standardization to us by the problem that we solve in the school exam. Consequently, it is not rare that the teacher just focus to explain the problem solutions as many as possible to make us to get used to solving the problem in the exam. Yes, we can solve the problems by this, but we understand nothing about the material concept we learned. Another example, I’ve been learning by using booklet as the primary book in my school. It is a small book made by some pieces of HVS paper. It contains one topic that has a summary of random information (which the connection of each subtopics is not given) with less explanation and less figural illustration. In my opinion, the book compels me to blindly memorize the content. It can be tolerated if we use it as a secondary book, but the teacher use it as a primary book instead of a secondary one. I think this is what makes we ‘love’ memorizing.
I have some suggestion to get used to thinking by understanding so that we can remember well the information :
1. Always put “Why?” question on every information you get
2. Never memorize the things that you don’t understand until you fully understand about it
3. Read books, browse on internet, or ask teacher about information you can’t understand