Albert Einstein, Thomas Alva Edison, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg. What do these people have in common? They are of Jewish descent. Half of the Nobel Prize winners in 2013 were Jewish. They also occupy nearly 40% of all American billionaires. With the situation, they are called the World’s most influential people. But the Jewish population is only 0.2% in the World. With this in mind, what’s the key to Jewish success? You can find the secret in the Havruta which is a Jewish studying method.
Havruta is to talk in pairs as if we argue. While discussing, we can realize the truth of learning. In the Jewish language the word “Haver” means ‘friend, partner’ which is the root for “Havruta”. So, “Havruta” traditionally means “Having a study partner” in ‘Talmud’. A process of talking the Havruta is surprisingly simple. We ask a question and explain the answer to each other. This looks simple. However, it is difficult to do unless you’re not familiar with the process. Try to remember when you explain to a friend after studying something. If you don’t know it well, you will feel dumb.
This phenomenon can be explained in the field of psychology. People have general thoughts called, ‘cognition.’ ‘Meta-cognition’ is the ability to perceive whether or not one recognizes the information. In other words, it is the capacity that allows one to comprehend what one knows and doesn’t know. There are times when I can’t think of a studied section during an exam. That’s because there isn’t enough ‘Meta-cognition.’ There is an explanation on how to raise ‘meta-cognition’. National Training Laboratories in the United States studied learning abilities and introduced the learning pyramid as a result. According to this, people memorize only 15% in quantity of study after having lectures and reading a book. Bu people memorize 90% in quantity of study after explaining to each other. This process allows us to sort what we know and what we don’t know by studying with talk. Also, we are able to learn better from each other. One of the most important things in Havruta is the skill of questioning. You’ll find methods to find the solution yourself through questioning and answering. Another important thing is to listen. You must hear it out and contradict a statement, even when you disagree with your partner. It contributes greatly to having good communication. These rules of Havruta are connected with discussion. It helps you master the skill of explain and contradicting logically. Consequently you will not only exchange different opinions but will explore several points of views. Thus, Havruta is discussion. People have a tendency to be scared when they meet a discussion because, they feel uncomfortable about question and answer. As for our lecture room, there’s not much question. In reality people tend to have a negative view of a person if he or she asks many questions. When did it begin to feel embarrassing to question or answer?
The Yeshiva University in the US was set up under the auspices of a Jew. Its library is filled with endless conversation. In contrast out library is full of silence. Aren’t we on a long journey to find the best answer?
One of the most important things in the modern world is creativity. Korea has introduced Havruta and the classes are growing. Korea’s education is changing from cramming classes in to creative classes. Is it time to think about the way to proceed in our university?