Albert Einstein, with his usual sense of humor and shrewdness, said that “you don’t really understand something until you are able to explain it to your grandmother.” According to this very truthful sentence, it is logical to believe that it is important to teach how to think in order to understand how our world works.
So let’s ask ourselves a question: does teaching to think really teach us to be freer? Obviously it is not possible to give a simple answer, or perhaps yes … Perhaps, however, it is so obvious and simple that we are unable to accept it or, on the contrary, it is a particularly complex issue. Let’s see some important details together.
Teaching to think
The Spanish professor Abilio de Gregorio, with a degree in Education and specializing in Family Orientation, argues that reflection must be a disciplined action. In fact, it is important that it is a combination of thinking and the intention of wanting to think.
According to de Gregorio, in all educational processes it is essential to have a reflective will, both on the part of the educators and on the part of the pupils. This means that there is no exchange of knowledge and useful pedagogy if a basis of thought and interpretation is not added to the learning subjects.
So, when we pass on our teachings, our habits, our traditions and our education to our children, we must cover everything with a veil of personal thought to push “the pupil” to interpret the information and make it their own starting from the own concept of understanding and knowledge.
What is freedom
Once we have established the importance of teaching to think, we must understand if, indeed, this action is useful to make us more free. It is therefore necessary to know what freedom is exactly.
The term freedom has two main meanings. On the one hand, it refers to the right or ability of people to responsibly choose their way of acting in certain circumstances, in a certain environment or in a certain society.
It is within this definition that we enclose expressions such as freedom of worship, freedom of conscience, freedom of opinion, freedom of thought, etc. It is, therefore, all that human beings can choose, using their faculties and their right.
Another interesting definition of the term freedom, on the other hand, refers to the condition or state of a person who is free, because he is not subject to the will of others, is not imprisoned or under a regime that forces him by obligation, responsibility, discipline. , etc.
Does teaching to think make us freer?
The time has finally come to answer the difficult question we asked ourselves at the beginning of the article. Does teaching to think make us freer? The answer, of course, is yes. Let’s think together why.
If we consider freedom as a person’s right or faculty to freely choose his or her way of acting in a given environment or circumstance, it is obvious that an individual who thinks or “knows how to think” will tend to act freely. In this sense, he will be more capable than other people who, on the other hand, act without reflecting or following pre-established guidelines from an inherited and assimilated belief system, due to lack of knowledge or other similar reasons.
It is evident, therefore, that teaching to think is an important part of any person’s education. It is not enough to know that something happens, it is also important to know why, how, when, etc. All this is possible only through the teaching of thought, so that each of us is able to develop his own reasoning, his own interpretation of the world and his own model of understanding.
For this reason, when the time comes to make a decision, he or she will be more and more free who, making good use of thought, is able to analyze a greater number of possibilities at the time of choice.
On the other hand, instead, a person who is guided by instinct, by the teachings of society, by an education that merely shows what happens or simply by the fact that it is what must be done, because that is what everyone does. others, he will not have a real freedom when he chooses, because his options are reduced due to his lack of capacity.
It is evident, therefore, that teaching people to think is like teaching people to be more free. Still, does it make us more complete, happier or smarter? This is a different issue that we could write many more articles on, but still being free always seems to make us better people.