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Sunday, October 01, 2017

AHSEC/CBSE - Class 11 English Notes: Albert Einstein At School

1. What was Einstein view on education?
Ans. Einstein’s view on education was completely different from others. According to him education should not be based on facts but on ideas. There is no point in learning facts. He was against learning facts and dates by heart. He was interested in knowing or learning ideas which accounts for progress in any field of life.
2. What punishment did the history teacher give to Albert Einstein for not answering his questions?
Ans. Einstein gave an unexpected answer to the history teacher. The history teacher got angry at him and punished him to attend extra classes that day. He also told his that he was a disgrace to the school.
3. What do you think of Albert-impolite or frank?
Ans. Albert is not rude or impolite as his history teacher comes to believe. He contradicts his teacher in a polite and yet firm tone. He uses ‘Sir’ in speaking to his teacher and does not sound rude. It is only due to his fearlessness and frankness that he is misunderstood.
4. Why did not Albert feet cheerful’ to go back to his lodging? Or What type of life did he live in Munich?

Ans. Albert lived a miserable life in Munich. He did not mind the poor quality of food he got or even the dirt and squalor. He was only troubled by the atmosphere of slum violence. His landlady beat her children regularly. On every Saturday she was beaten by her drunkard husband. So he had no peace of mind there. He could not even play his violin as it irritated his landlady.
5. Why was the history teacher annoyed with Albert?
Ans. Albert never bothered to learn the things taught to him by the history teacher. He told the teacher that he did not believe in learning facts. He said he was interested not in learning the dates of battles but in learning why the soldiers were trying to kill each other. The history teacher got offended with his careless attitude. He asked him to leave the school if he had no faith in the school education.

6. Who was Yuri? What was his role in the given extract?
Ans. Yuri was the only friend Albert had in Munich. Yuri had a great concern for Albert. So when Albert disclosed his plan to leave school, Yuri decided to help him. He fixed an appointment with a fresh medical graduate Doctor Earnest Weil who readily certified. Albert with nervous breakdown and six months rest. Always a well wisher, he bade Albert goodbye when he left school.
7. What did Albert ask his friend Yuri to do?
Ans. Albert asked Yuri to arrange for him a medical certificate. He wanted the doctor to say that he could not attend school for some time as he was suffering from nervous breakdown.
8. Who was Doctor Ernst Weil? How did he help Albert?
Ans. Doctor Ernst Weil was a specialist in nervous troubles. He easily understood Albert’s problem. So he issued him a certificate to the effect that he should not attend school for six months as he had a nervous breakdown.
9. Albert was quite nervous when he met the doctor. What does this show?
Ans. Albert wanted a certificate to the effect that he had a nervous breakdown so that he might stay away from his school for some time. When he went to the doctor to get the fake certificate, he became really nervous as he was too honest to pretend nervousness.
10. Why did the head teacher summon Albert?
Ans. The head teacher summoned Albert to tell him that he had decided to punish him for his extremely bad performance. He wanted him to leave the school of his own accord, otherwise he would be expelled.
11. What reason was given by the head teacher for his decision to expel Albert?
Ans. The head teacher said that the very presence of Albert hindered the teachers to teach and the pupils to learn. He said that he had refused to learn and that he was in constant rebellion. In fact, he wanted to say that the school did not like his habit of too much questioning and his refusal to go with the established system.
12. How did Albert react to the head teacher’s decision of expelling him from school?
Ans. Albert wanted to say what he thought of the head teacher and his school. But he said nothing and came out briskly, holding his head high. He ignored the shouting of the head teacher to shut the door after him.
13. In what mood did Albert Leave Munich?
Ans. Albert had nothing but hatred for Munich. He left it without turning his head to give it a last look. He met only his friend Yuri before going. Yuri wished him well.
14. Who was Mr. Koch? How did he help Einstein in his future life?
Ans. Mr. Koch was Einstein’s mathematics teacher. He was a great man and probably the one who saw the genius in Einstein. He admired Einstein’s knowledge and thought probably Albert would soon be able to teach him. Apart from that Mr. Koch gave him a certificate that helped Einstein secure a seat in a university.
15. What for did Einstein require a medical certificate?
Ans. Einstein enquired his friend Yuri about a friendly doctor who would certify him falsely for a nervous breakdown as he longed to escape from the school. Einstein hated the school at Munich and longed to escape. But he knew that if he left his studies and went to Italy to join his family, his father would get angry and send him back.
One day he gets an idea. He decides to play a small drama. He would pretend that he has had a nervous breakdown. He would say that he has been advised by the doctor to discontinue studies.
16. Who was Elsa? What did she try to make him understand?
Ans. Elsa was Albert’s cousin. She tried to persuade him to learn the things and repeat them in the examination. She was sure he was capable of doing so but he was not trying. By doing so, he would get his school diploma.
17. What were young Einstein’s interests?
Ans. Young Einstein was interested in science and music. He read books on science and played his violin. Elsa found him reading a Geology book. The problem was that such books were of no use to him for examination purpose.
18. 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.
1. What do you understand of Einstein’s nature from his conversations with his history teacher, his mathematics teacher and the head teacher?
Ans. As a student at Munich, Einstein was different from the other boys of his age. From his conversation with his history teacher, his mathematics teacher and the head teacher we come to know what type of a man Einstein was. Einstein directly told his history teacher that he did not like dates and facts of historical events. For which his history teacher often rebuked and taunted him. He clearly expressed his mind. For him learning facts was not education. For him ideas and not facts were important. But his history teacher and the head teacher did not understand his true character. However, Mr. Koch, Einstein’s math teacher could see the genius in him. He gave a glowing recommendation that there was nothing more to teach Einstein. Infect the teacher could not learn from him.
But the head teacher failed to see Einstein’s genius view point. He called him a nuisance and expelled him from school.
2. The school system often curbs individual talents. Discuss.
Ans. In most of the countries of the world, the school education has remained rigid and conservative. Each school evolves a system in which every pupil is expected to try to fit in. Even teacher are expected to blindly follow the system. No deviation is tolerated or encouraged. Individual talents are often curbed. A student who wants to study science is forced to learn facts of history.
This is what we get about the school in which young Einstein studied. Einstein had natural inclination for science and mathematics. He was not interested in learning facts but in ideas. He was called a ‘disgrace’ to the school. The head teacher decided to expel him if he did not leave the school of his own accord.
Strangely, most of our great writers, scientists and pioneers have all found fault with the school education. They simply disliked or hated schools for curbing their mental flights.
3. How do you distinguish between information gathering and insight formation?
Ans. Information gathering is different from insight formation. Anybody who is interested in facts can go to a library and consult books. Nowadays most of the facts, relating to different subjects and fields, are available on the Internet. Those who get these facts and learn them by heart pass their examinations with a good score. In reality, they are merely literate, information gatherers.
On the other hand, insight formation is a difficult activity. Insight formation requires a cool and objective analysis of the given facts. It leads us to new conclusions, discoveries and inventions. No wonder, persons like Einstein disliked learning facts. They insisted on knowing why a particular event happened this or that way. Not things but ideas interest such persons.
1. What circumstances led to Einstein’s expulsion from his school in Munich?
Ans. The young Einstein got into a school in Munich. His father wanted him to get his school diploma. In spite of his best efforts, he failed to cope with the circumstances. He did not bother about poor food, lack of comfort or even the dirt and squalor. With his own strong views about learning, he annoyed almost all his teachers. He wanted to know the reason or reasons about everything he was taught. His unsatiating curiosity hampered the teaching process in his classes. Only his mathematics teacher recognized his ability and spoke highly of him.
Very soon Einstein realized that he was only wasting his time and his father’s money. He procured a medical certificate testifying to his nervous breakdown and recommending six months’ absence from the school. But even before he could use it, the head teacher summoned him. He told Einstein that he should go of his own accord, otherwise he would be formally expelled.
2. How was Albert’s life miserable in Munich?
Ans. Albert Einstein was sent to Munich to study for his diploma in a school. His father was poor. So he had to live in a small, dingy room in the ugliest and the poorest area of Munich. There was an atmosphere of slum violence. Albert’s landlady beat her children regularly. Every Saturday her husband would come drunk and bear her. Albert felt ill at ease in such an atmosphere. His landlady asked him not to play his violin. It pained him much.
At school, he felt out of place. He was an intelligent student. However, he hated rote learning. His history teacher was offended with him for his views on education and his inability to learn dates and facts by heart. He called him a ‘disgrace’ to school. Except his mathematics teacher, nobody was happy with him.
Albert decided to quit. He got a medical certificate in order to remain away from school for some time. But the head teacher announced his expulsion from the school, it came as a welcome relief to him.
3. Who were Yuri and Elsa? What was their role in Albert’s life?
Ans. Albert Einstein led a pathetic life in Munich were he was sent to study in a school. Only his best friend Yuri consoled and encouraged him in his misery. Yuri was a sincere friend. He understood him very well. When Albert complained of violent atmosphere in the area, where he lived, he told him about the violence in the student’s hostel. When Albert expressed his desire to get a medical certificate, he referred to him to his doctor friend who gave him the desired certificate.
Yuri knew that Albert was impractical. So he advised him to take a letter of recommendation from the mathematics teacher before he met the head teacher.
Thus, Yuri proved to be the only silver lining in the dark, cloudy sky of Albert. When Albert was leaving, the only person he met was Yuri.
Elsa was Albert’s cousin. She lived in Berlin. She tried to encourage Albert in his worst days. She told him that if he could learn things by heart and repeat them in the examinations he could easily get his diploma.
4. Comment on the education system in Germany at the time when Albert was in Munich as a student.
Ans. Albert Einstein was sent to a Munich school to get a diploma. About that time Germany had a rigid, conventional system of education. Students and teachers were expected to fit in it. There was no room for original thinking or individual talent.
Rote learning was emphasized in schools. The young Einstein was expelled from the school as he did not like the way he was taught. He refused to learn dates and facts by heart. He was interested not in learning when the battles were fought but why the battles were fought. So his history teacher was irritated with him. He did not like his questioning nature.

Teachers and authorities discouraged original thinking and disliked any deviation from the trodden path. The head teacher expelled Albert, saying that he hindered the teaching and learning process by asking too many questions. He was called a rebel. It is strange that a genius like him was treated badly at school. It is a telling commentary on the system that failed to recognize individual brilliance, aptitude and aspirations.

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