Monday, April 23, 2012

Lessons of a Mouse

There was a scientific experiment where a mouse was placed in a maze with food at the end of a passage. Through trial and error, the mouse finally arrived at the food. When he had run the same course several times, the mouse no longer hesitated or turned down wrong corridors but rather went directly down the correct path that led to the food. After a few more runs like this the food was removed from the end of the previous corridor and placed at the end of another passage. At first the mouse went to the old place. Finding nothing there, he retraced his path and investigated other passages until he found the newly placed food. Thereafter, he had no trouble acclimating himself to the new route that brought the reward.

The point of this story is that it shows the basic difference between mice and mankind. Eventually, the mouse will learn to seek other paths when the one he has always followed is no longer productive, while mankind will tend to keep going down the unproductive path forever.

In the world of public education, the food has been moved. How long will we continue travel old paths before we begin to investigate new passages?

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