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Class 11 English Snapshots Chapter 4 Albert Einstein at school
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Albert Einstein at school
Text Book Exercises
Q. 1. What do you understand of Einstein’s nature from his conversation with his history teacher, his mathematics teacher and the head teacher?
Ans. Albert Einstein was not at all satisfied with the school education in Germany. It was completely outdated and unproductive. The History teacher considered that education was nothing more than learning dates and years of events. For Einstein education meant ideas. He didn’t see any point in learning dates. One could look up the dates in books.
Albert Einstein’s Mathematics teacher was different from other teacher. He had a very good opinion about Einstein. He was very cooperative and helpful. He willingly gave Albert the reference that he needed. This encounter revealed Albert’s character too. He showed his modesty by praising Mr. Koch. He told Mr. Koch that he enjoyed his class. Einstein didn’t like his school nor his teacher.
Einstein’s worst encounter was with the head teacher. He told him to leave the school of his own accord. He asked what crime he had committed. The head teacher replied that he had become a nuisance for others. Albert was very angry. He wanted to tell the head teacher what he thought of him and the school. But he kept quiet. He showed his contempt by not closing the door as was asked last look at his school.
Q. 2. The school system often curbs individual talents. Discuss.
Ans. It is quite true that the school education often curbs individual talents. Most of the time it is unproductive and outdated. Education received within the four walls may not be the real education. Actually it has been seen that schools interfere with the free growth and development of children. They don’t provide proper atmosphere for their proper growth. Too many restrictions and dead formalities kill the natural growth in children. Too much of discipline also proves quite unproductive. It kills the creative skills in children.
Actually children need freedom. Without freedom no physical or mental growth is possible. School education should not be heavy, dull and cumbersome. Entertainment and education must go together. Education is not just facts, figures and dates. Ideas must dominate our education. Only then our schools will produce geniuses like Einstein.
Q. 3. How do you distinguish between information gathering and insight formation.
“I thinks it’s not facts that matter but ideas.” Evaluate after Einstein.
Ans. Education is not confined to mere information gathering. Information only keeps us well informed about things. Einstein’s views about education only confirm that information gathering has its limitations. The History teacher asks when the Prussians defeated the French at waterloo. Actually, he is seeking an information. It can be easily gathered from any good book on history. Einstein thinks that learning of days, dates and figures have no importance. Ideas are important than facts. So, insight for-mation must be the aim of education. Schools shouldn’t overburden students with the heaps of data collection. It is not important how many soldiers are killed and when they are killed. It is important to learn why soldiers try to kill others in war.
The real growth and development of the mind is more important than mere information gathering. Depth comes from the basics and not from facts and figures. Ideas are the essence of real education. Without the basics and ideas, education will be reduced to mere dead formalities and information gathering.
Additional Short Type Questions Answer
Q. 1. Mr. Brawn was speechless for a few moment. Why?
Ans. Mr. Brawn was Albert’s history teacher He (Mr. Brawn) asked Albert in what year the Prussians defeated the French at waterloo. Albert told him that he didn’t know. Albert told him that he saw no point in learning dates. These could befound in books. This made him speechless for a few moment.
Q. 2. What should education be all about, according to Albert?
What was Einstein’s idea of education?
Why does Einstein that learning facts is no education at all?
Ans. According to Albert, education should be based not on facts but on ideas. Albert said that one could get these facts from books. He was more interested in knowing why soldiers killed other soldiers in war. He was not interested in knowing their numbers.
Q. 3. What punishment did the History teacher give to Albert for not answering his questions?
Ans. The History teacher Mr. Brown got irritated. His eyes got cold and cruel. Albert said that he didn’t want a lecture from him. Mr. Brawn punished him by making him stay in for an extra period that day. He also told him that he was a disgrace to the institution.
Q. 4. Why didn’t Albert feel ‘cheerful’ to go back to his lodging?
Ans. Albert didn’t feel cheerful to return to his lodging. His room was in the poorest quarters of Munich. His landlord beat his wife after he returned home drunk on saturdays. He hated the atmosphere of slum violence.
Q. 5. What advice did Elsa give to Albert regarding passing the examinations?
Ans. Elsa told Albert that she knew many boys who were more studpid than Albert. They could pass the examination easily. For this, Albert didn’t need to learn what had been taught to him, However, he should be able to repeat it in the examination.
Q. 6. What did Albert tell Yuri when he met him after six months in Munich?
Ans. Albert told Yuri that it was foolish he should go on like that. In the end, he would realise that he had been wasting his father’s money and everyone’s time.
Q. 7. How did Albert Einstein decide to get rid of his school? Explain.
Ans. Albert didn’t feel at ease at school. After his encounter with the teacher he felt insulted. He decided to get rid of his school by producing a false certificate from a doctor. The doctor was to certify that he had a nervous breakdown. It would serve his purpose. He would not be medically fit to stay in the school.
Q. 8. Who was Ernest Wail? How did he help Albert?
Ans. Ernest Weil was a doctor. He had qualified as a doctor only the previous week. He was a good friend of Yuri. Albert told Yuri of his plan of staying away from the school. Yuri told him to go to Dr. Ernest Weil to get a medical certificate for that purpose. Dr. Weil really helped Einstein.
Q. 9. Who was Mr. Koch? What reference did Mr. Koch give to Albert regarding his wish to join a college in Italy?
Ans. Mr. Koch was Albert’s mathematics teacher. Mr. Koch work that Albert was realy to enter a college for the study of higher Mathematics. He also wrote that he couldn’t teach him any more. Probably Albert would soon be able to teach him. It was such a wonderful recommendation that no one could have got from a teacher.
Q. 10. What did the head teacher tell Albert when he met him?
Ans. The head teacher told him that he had become a nuisance for other students and teachers. He was not prepared to keep him in his school any longer. He was a great disgrace to the institution. He wanted him to leave the school without any further delay.
Q. 11. How did Albert react to the head teacher?
Ans. For a moment, Albert felt incited to tell the head teacher what he thought of him and his school. He didn’t say even a single word. Holding his head high, he went out with a sense of pride. His silence showed his resentment and dislike for the school and his teachers.
Q. 12. How did Albert leave his school where he had spent five years.
Ans. Albert left his school without any regrets. He in fact, left it arrogantly. He had no soft feelings for it or for its teachers. He was completely disillusioned because of the ill treatment meted out to him by the head teacher. He didn’t turn his head to have even a last look at his school.
Q. 13. How did music help Albert?
Ans. Music helps Albert when he is thinking about his theories. He goes to his study, comes back, strikes a few chords on the piano, jots something down, returns to his study.” In later life, his fame as a physicist often led to invitations to perform at benefit concerts, which he generally accepted eagerly.
Q. 14. What kind of a student was Einstein?
Ans. According to popular lore, Albert Einstein was a poor student. He was an intelligent student but not good at rote learning dates and facts in history. Albert was miserable in school, where his teacher detested him for not adopting the conventional method of rote learning, and at the place where he lived. It is true that he did not earn top grades in every subject, but he excelled at maths and science, even though he skipped classes and had to cram for exams.
Q. 15. What was Mr. Koch’s opinion about Albert?
Ans. Mr. Koch was Albert’s Mathematics teacher at the Munich school. He was a great man, probably who was not jealous of Einstein’s knowledge. He had a very good opinion about Albert. He was very much impressed by Albert’s knowledge of his subject. Mr Koch had a high opinion of Albert. According to Mr. Koch, Albert is the most intelligent student and also has great ability as well as knowledge. Apart from that, he is most brilliant student in the class in subject of Maths. Overall, he is so intelligent that he soon can be able to teach his own teacher due to his ability. He thought that he couldn’t teach Albert any more and probably soft he would be able to teach his teacher. Mr Koch certified that Albert was ready immediately to enter a college or institute for the study of higher mathematics.
Mr Koch wrote that Albert was ready to enter a college for the study of higher mathematics. He also said that he couldn’t teach him anymore and probably he would soon be able to teach him.
Long Type Questions Answer
Q. 1. Write in year own words the dialogue between the history teacher and Albert.
Ans. The class was on. The history teacher Mr. Brawn asked Albert in what year the Prussiaus had defeated the French at waterloo. Albert said that he didn’t know the answer and have forgotten. He asked Albert why he didn’t try to learn the dates. He told him that he didn’t see any point in learning dates. One could look up the dates in books. This irritated Mr. Brawn. He described to Albert that he didn’t believe in education at all. Albert told him that for him what mattered in education was ideas and not facts. He was interested in learning why soldiers tried to kill others in war. He was not interested in knowing how many of them were killed.
Q. 2. Were the teachers interested in understanding Albert and bringing out his potential?
Ans. The teachers were not interested at all in understanding Albert and bringing out his potentials. They always thought that he was a nuisance boy. The history teacher did not like his behaviour and said that he was an ungrateful boy and ought be ashamed of himself. He even told him that he was a disgrace for the school. His maths teacher, Mr. Koch, though acknowledged his exceptional ability, was not willing to keep him in his school. He willingly gave him reference and wanted him to join the college or an Institution. The Head teacher told him that his presence in the class made it impossible for the teacher to teach other students.
Q. 3. Describe how Yuri helps Albert in his efforts to stay away from the school?
Ans. Yuri is Albert’s only friend. Albert tells him everything of his life. He tells Yuri that he doesn’t like to go school. At once he thinks of a plan. He asks Yuri if he has a doctor as his friend. His plan is to get a medical certificate from the doctor. The doctor shall certify that Albert suffers from a nervous breakdown. This will enable him to leave school for some period. Yuri tells him that he knew Dr. Ernest Weil. He has qualified as a doctor only the previous week. Yuri tells Albert to tell the doctor everything clearly. So Albert hides nothing from the doctor. Dr. Ernest Weil issues him a certificate. His fees are that Albert shall host a dinner to Yuri. In this way, Yuri helps Albert in his efforts to stay away from the school.
Q. 4. Explain the cause of conflict between the history teacher and Albert.
Ans. Mr. Braun, the history teacher was an orthodox and ordinary teacher. He expected his students to be passive listeners only. When Einstein expressed his thoughts and ideology while answering a question, Mr. Braun was annoyed at him. Instead of appreciating his uniqueness and curiosity to know the causes behind the Prussian war, he made fun of his sensible and scientific ideas. During the History period, the teacher wanted his students to learn the facts by heart. But Albert Einstein did not believe in learning facts. So he opposed the teacher. The teacher could do nothing but to feel personally offended whenever Albert raised a point.
The conflict between the history teacher and Albert was caused when the teacher mentioned the role of Christopher Columbus in “discovering” America, and Albert, who is of Native American descent, objected, stating that America was not discovered but already inhabited by indigenous peoples. The teacher dismissed Albert’s objection, leading to a confrontation where Albert felt his heritage and history were being invalidated. This highlights the issue of Eurocentric biases in historical narratives and the need for inclusivity and cultural sensitivity in education.
Exchanges between Einstein and History teacher show that Einstein is honest and truthful. He admits his shortcomings frankly. He has firm and well-defined opinions. He explains precisely what he thinks. Thus his basic intelligence, logical reasoning and lucid expression are highlighted. He showed the sparks of genius even at a young age. His maths teacher had a high opinion of him. He went to the extent of saying: “I can’t teach you more, and probably you’ll soon be able to teach me.” When Albert said that it was excessive praise, the teacher acknowledged that it was only the truth. He made the point by saying that Albert was ready immediately to enter a college or institute for the study of higher mathematics. Albert himself said, “I’ve learnt all the maths, they teach at school and a bit more. “The head teacher told Albert that he was expelling him from school because his presence in the classroom made it impossible for the teacher to teach and other pupils to learn. No serious work could be done while he was in the class. Albert refused to learn and he was” in constant rebellion. For a moment Albert felt tempted to tell the head teacher what he thought of him and his school. Then he stopped himself. He didn’t say even a single word. Holding his head high, he went out with a sense of pride. Thus, he had a lot of self control. Albert was not at all impolite. He addressed his teachers respectfully and answered the questions honestly.
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