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It is more important for students to understand ideas and concepts than it is for them to learn facts
Learning facts and learning concepts and ideas are all important aspects in students’ learning process. While comparing these two aspects, I believe that concepts and ideas are more important. We learn facts because we should use facts to help us understand concepts and ideas and only when we acquire concepts and ideas, we can claim that we really understand the knowledge.
Concepts and ideas are the principles behind the surface and we learn facts because we can conclude these facts into concepts and ideas and apply them, or facts will have no meaning for us. For instance, while learning the fluctuation of prices, if we just remember the facts that at what time in history the prices of certain rose increased or decreased, our research will turn out in vain. However, if we can then understand the ideas and concepts behind these facts, we may gradually realize that it is the relationship between supply and demand that eventually determines the fluctuation of prices. Thus, we will be able to forecast the prices in the future. Therefore, it is the concepts and ideas that we are really seeking for, not the facts.
Yet facts may help us a lot in the process of learning. Students of physics should conduct experiments to observe the phenomenon, which will help them understand the abstract theories in their book; students of life science should sometimes nurture some small animals to help them understand the behavior of living things; the internship may be compulsory for a student of marketing, for the things he or she learn are so connected to the business world. From the points stated above, we may conclude that facts are important for us to understand concepts and ideas. Therefore, we should not neglect the importance of them. However, we should always be aware that we learn facts because they can help us understand the concepts and ideas behind them.
In the final analysis, I assert that concepts and ideas are more important while compared to facts for only concepts and ideas will be useful for us when we want to apply our knowledge yet facts are always good tools for us to understand concepts and ideas.
TOEFL listening lectures: A lecture from a life sciences class