What is the difference between “Studying” and “Learning”?
A good question since there is a subtle difference in the meaning of the two closely related words. Literally speaking “studying” is the process though which one learns. In reality, the word has come to mean quite something else – at least in most cases. “Studying” unfortunately has become synonymous with the word “memorizing”. Therefore when you ask a school or college student if he was studying hard for the exams, it often came to mean whether he was memorizing his notes well enough to write them down in his exam paper.
This has become a major problem with most state board students – especially in West Bengal the erstwhile centre of knowledge and excellence in the country. Right from junior school, the trend is to go for tuitions to “study” which actually means the student is going to a private tutor to collect some notes or mechanically memorize the steps to do a typical math problem instead of understanding it thoroughly. So it’s a story of notes and notes all the way to high school. In college of course the situation is worse. Except for students at the top of the merit list who manage to gain admission in select institutes of excellence, college life virtually means gathering notes, “mugging” them up to pass examinations. The focus is on notes, examinations and marks! Somewhere on the road, the urge to learn and know is lost.
Is it therefore no surprise that most students today are unable to correlate whatever they study in class with the real world. For college students studying English literature the poetry of Keats or the drama of Shakespeare means pages and pages of notes and not high works of creativity. A problem of Physics or Mathematics is treated as an issue to be fixed for exams, not as pieces of priceless knowledge to be gathered.
This is exactly why we often come across individuals who have excellent results, university gold medals, multiple degrees – but when it comes to performance, they are unable to deliver. In other words they are NOT “Employable”! This is just what we do not want!
College education is not about blind memorization, it is about learning, knowing and acquiring skills which makes one “Employable”! The rest, as they say, is irrelevant!