Nugget #1

“The human mind does not work that way. It operates by association. With one item in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next that is suggested by the association of thoughts, in accordance with some intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain. It has other characteristics, of course; trails that are not frequently followed are prone to fade, items are not fully permanent, memory is transitory. Yet the speed of action, the intricacy of trails, the detail of mental pictures, is awe-inspiring beyond all else in nature.”


The human mind. The most complex and powerful tool that humans have access to. In the previous paragraph before this passage, Bush explains that the process in which we store data is intricate. There are certain methods and guidelines we use such as numerical or alphabetical order; rules to relocate the data. As organized as this method is for storying data, our brain functions and stores data the exact opposite. Our minds are constintly racing, connecting concepts from various information sources. There is no clear path in which we follow to think. We just do it.

So what does this matter?


It has been clear for many years that education needs reform. To what degree, how and when it will occur is what stumps the policy makers who are able to initiate this type of reform. Education reform has been pushed to the back burner, along with many other strenuous topics, because policy makers tend to be hesitant about implementing policies that could potentially change societal norms. With that being said, the process of cognition in a human brain is so dispersed, it does not make sense to have one concrete method of teaching for multiple students to comprehend. Each brain operates uniquely, and it is about time education revolutionizes to meet those unique needs.


13 thoughts on “Nugget #1

  1. I like that you’ve pointed out a major flaw in our political system within your nugget, but you might be well served researching some of the brilliant work that charter schools and the like are doing in metropolitan centers. Bespoke education is the ideal, but let’s just agree that reform is necessary, even if it never reaches said ideal.

  2. I find it interesting that you chose this segment of “As We May Think” because it seems to be a popular one. I really do like this point of view on life and maybe that is why so many other people like it. I feel like we live in a much more progressive day and time and being understanding of other peoples lives and situations has almost become a requirement.

  3. I agree with you 100%. Education reform needs to be moved from the back burner to the front. Maybe if that happened, future generations would be able to think bigger and better to help solve social, economic, political, environmental and even global issues! In the end, taking that big step will ultimately make the world a better place.

  4. I like the direction you took this quote in (I just read a nugget with the same quote which basically said “we’re all different but connected,” so good on you for choosing a more concrete topic that can be discussed). Education systems, from my experience with them, have been getting their feet wet in trying different methods in hopes of students having a better learning experience with them. I’m pretty sure this online UNIV class is doing just that, and I’m interested in seeing how successful this pilot will be.
    I can understand why education systems would be hesitant to try new things; it’d be a pretty big deal if a new lesson plan approach didn’t work at all, which would mean more students not understanding the material they need to for the next grade. This already happens with the current system, I know, and I’m not sure what the answer would be. How do you open up the class from a rigid lesson plan with set objectives to be a little more lenient but still constructive, especially with younger grades?

  5. I completely agree with your stance on education reform! I can relate to this on a personal level. I consider myself to have a very logical mindset, therefore I excel in math and memorization. Although I find myself lacking in courses that deal with creativity, including Art and English. Put me into VCU’s art school and I would fail out in a week, although that does not mean I’m unintelligent as I excel in other subjects. That is why I think that K-12 is less effective than college, because you are forced to study things that you perhaps don’t enjoy or excel in. Whereas in college you are able explore what you enjoy in further depth.

  6. It truly is amazing how our mind works with association. A lot of the time we even find our thoughts coming to a halt just to think how one thought lead to the other. I know I do at least. It’s easy to understand thoughts and memories triggered by our senses, but when two completely different topics end up connecting somehow, it’s truly confusing and amazing at the same time. Often times, it’s beneficial for whatever the situation may be. Instincts are a great example of thoughts that are triggered by certain situations. We wouldn’t think those specific thoughts for another other reason other than it being natural.

  7. I agree with your take on the need for education reform. I have had friends, extremely intelligent, made to feel as if they are not just because they cannot process the information the way it is being presented. I have also read studies that suggest that different races have tendencies to learn better in certain styles such as auditory, hands on, and visual, although I don’t know how credible said studies are. It just raises the question how can we teach and test people one way and base their future on this evaluation?

  8. I wrote my nugget on a similar passage from Bush’s essay. Our thoughts are not linear in anyway shape or form. Like you said, the human mind is intricate. No clear path will lead us to where we want to go in our mind, we just somehow get there after a process of thinking and new ideas coming to us.

  9. When talking about reforming the education system, what reforms within the educating system would you try to bring about. Do you think policy makers act in the best interest for the upcoming society or only for what matters to them?

  10. I totally agree with you. I have seen several students who are extremely good in practical work but cannot perform well when they have to give exams in writing. It does not mean that they are not good in their field, but some of them find it hard to write their understanding in words and sometimes they do not like the way the questions are asked. One cannot understand the complexity of human brain because it is different for everyone.

  11. I strongly agree with your idea that education needs to be tailored to the student, yet the reform is so open-ended and it is riddled with so many gaps and loopholes. I believe that as flawed as our educational system is, it is a decent placeholder maybe 20 more years. However, availability of information is increasing exponentially, which enables the mind to gain access to a pool of knowledge that might not require so much traditional schooling.

  12. I agree completely with your sentiments about the education system. I firmly believe that until the implementation of serious education reform, the world’s nations will reach an intellectual plateau.

  13. Pingback: Utopian Education System – Digital Futures

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