Our anti-learning attitude

Want to get a first hand account on how our culture of anti-learning is stifling creativity? Read Ammar Ibrahim’s recent post on his current experience both as student and teacher in Jordan. Depressing stuff.


I remember those who were creative, innovative and wanted to learn got lowest marks. And those who like to be spoon fed, and learn blindly got highest marks.


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4 Responses to “Our anti-learning attitude”

  1. mariam Says:

    One of my friends, publishes books for children, he was trying to negotiate with the ministry of education on enforcing book reading for children… do you know what their asnswer was after months and months of talking back and forth?

    We did not get your last fax, because we bought a new machine and no one knows how to handle it… so no books for children!...

    I would not think this is believable, but since i was helping him, and heard the conversation myself….well… for once in my life i was speechless!

  2. Rob Says:

    I remember hearing somewhere about how the only education that is really cherished in the middle east is religious education, and that this was one of the root causes of it’s stagnant economy.

    In America, many religious universities (granted, not the nearly lifelong ones, such as madrassas or yeshivas) offer a dual major so that theological students can have something to fall back on. One can work as a businessman in the day time and look for a position as a religious scholar or clergyman at night/weekends.

  3. Karim Arafat Says:

    Well, I was once kicked from the class by the lecturer in my undergrad studies (in Jordan) because I disagreed with his opinion on Islamic law.

    When I was in 10th grade, I started a school newsletter. I was expelled for one week, because I did not take the permission from the school principal to print it and distribute it in the school. He said I had to bring the permission of some governmental entity first! So I told him he was not any better than the dictators of the Middle East. I was expelled right away.

    Again, in university (in Jordan) I wanted to do a research paper on one particular aspect of bankruptcy law, and asked one of the tutors to guide me. He said that this was not possible, since it was not within the university curriculum.

    When I went to the University of Bristol for my postgrad studies, I had the opportunity to write 2 research papers on bankruptcy law. I should say I had difficulty writing them up, because I did not have the researching skills or even the ability to think freely (my mind was hesitant to think beyond, just like a dog with a 1 meter leash). All my colleagues there had a much longer leash or no leash!

  4. Omar K. Hasanat Says:

    I regret to say that the first time I was introduced to the RIGHT, NON-SPOON-FEEDING way of learning was when I started studying for my Master’s Degree. The good news is it was actually IN Jordan.

    I had a very hard time as a start. But, Alhamdolellah, things worked out for me later. Of course I had a gigantic amount of work and reading to do before I was able to cope.

    I still remeber the first lecture and it was Advanced (well, very advanced!) Database. The Prof came in, and then kept talking for about an hour or so. then he said “that concludes the first 5 chapters of the book, you people have to do the reading”. And I was like what in the world is he saying???? But it wasn’t until the midterm when I discovered he was right, and all waht I know about the teaching-learning process was DEAD WRONG!

    Hope things will be better for school srudents with all the IT integration plans now being executed in Jordan.

    P.S. Jordan I love you and I miss you thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much. Or maybe more!

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