Gujarat Board GSEB Class 11 English Textbook Solutions Snapshots Chapter 4 Albert Einstein at School Textbook Exercise Important Questions and Answers, Notes Pdf.
Gujarat Board Textbook Solutions Class 11 English Snapshots Chapter 4 Albert Einstein at School
GSEB Class 11 English Albert Einstein at School Text Book Questions and Answers
Reading with Insight
What do you understand of Einstein’s nature from his conversations with his history teacher, his mathematics teacher and the headteacher?
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 headteacher 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 headteacher 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.
“The school system often curbs individual talents.” Discuss.
Albert Einstein’s miserable five years’ stay at school is a telling comment on the system of education prevailing then and existing even now.
This system of education has no room for individual aspirations, brilliance or aptitude. It discourages genius and originality and encourages mechanical dullards or the so-called ‘average’ students. This system lays stress on facts and dates rather than ideas. It ignores originality and creativity, which lead to progress and development.
No wonder then that most of the students manage to pass the examination by cramming – learning things by heart and repeating it in the exams. This parrot-like learning or learning without understanding may help to get the diploma but fails to enrich the mind or inculcate ideas.
The teachers and authorities insist on discipline and conformity. The history teacher and the Headteacher are sticklers for rules, pedagogy and discipline. Brilliant students like Albert Einstein are considered dullard, stupid, incompetent, unfit rebels whose very presence makes it impossible for teachers to teach and other pupils to learn.
How do you distinguish between information gathering and insight formation?
Learning the dates of battles or the details about victorious armies are facts. These details are part of knowledge which are content-based. There is no point in spending precious years of student life on information gathering because dates or facts could be ascertained from the books any time by just looking them up. Learning facts or parrot-like learning i.e., learning without understanding is what we call information gathering.
Analysing the facts, ascertaining the causes that led to a certain incident such as an uprising or a war and learning the ideas that spring from such actions are part of insight information. It gives us a clear perception into the true nature of a thing. Such knowledge increases our logical reasoning, power of analysis interpretation and understanding and makes us think.
GSEB Class 11 English Albert Einstein at School Additional Important Questions and Answers
Answer the following questions in four to five sentences each:
Relate in your own words what transpired between the history teacher, Mr Braun and young Einstein.
Mr Braun, the history teacher laid stress on learning dates and facts. He repeated them often enough for his students to learn them. Young Albert Einstein was found wanting. He didn’t know in what year the Prussians defeated the French at Waterloo. Albert frankly admitted that he didn’t know.
He said that he didn’t even try to learn dates. He claimed that he couldn’t see any point in learning dates. One can always look them up in a book. The teacher felt angry as well as amazed at Albert’s stubbornness. The boy insisted that learning facts is not education. Mr. Braun then sarcastically asked Albert to tell the class the Einstein theory of education. Albert said that ideas are more important than facts. Instead of learning the dates of battles or which of the armies killed more men, he would be more interested in learning why those soldiers were trying to kill each other.
Mr Braun felt exasperated. His eyes were cold and cruel. He punished Albert by making him stay in for an extra period that day. He had a low opinion of Einstein and called him ‘a disgrace’. He wondered why he continued to come to school. Albert politely replied that it was not his wish. Mr Braun angrily called him ‘an ungrateful boy who ought to be ashamed of himself. He suggested that the boy should ask his father to take him away.
Where the teacher interested in understanding Albert and bringing out his potential?
This extract mentions only two of the teachers of young Einstein. They are Mr. Braun – the history teacher and Mr Koch-the mathematics teacher. The former was not at all interested in understanding Albert and bringing out his potential. He followed the traditional methods and philosophy of education which laid more stress on acquisition of knowledge.
Dates and facts were more important to him than the causes which led to the events. Secondly, he had a sarcastic attitude and mocking tone towards Einstein. Instead of helping the development of a talented boy, he complained to the headteacher and got him expelled.
Mr Koch appreciated Einstein’s genius and had a good opinion of him. But he too was confined to his subject and didn’t take interest in the real person. All this was because of the curriculum centred approach.
What factors made Einstein’s life in Munich miserable? What did he realise after six months?
Two factors made Einstein’s life in Munich miserable. These were his school and residential environment. The school was a hateful place. He had many bad days when he got punishment. He hated going back to school, but he had no option. He wishes that his father would take him away. However, he was forced to stay there and obtain diploma. Einstein found the system of education uninspiring and the teachers, unsympathetic.
He had his lodging in the poorest quarters of Munich. The food was bad. Lack of comfort, dirt and squalor made his life miserable. The atmosphere of slum violence was oppressive. The landlady would beat her children. Her husband would come home on Saturdays. He would get drunk and beat his wife. Albert found young students fighting duels and killing others. The scars on the face were badges of honour for the victors.
Comment on the role of Yuri as described in the extract.
Yuri performs an important function in young Albert’s life. He is the friend, philosopher and guides for Albert. He is in fact Albert’s confidant. He has won the love and trust of Albert to such an extent that he confides his miseries, problems and plans with him. Yuri is the only person in Munich that Albert likes. Yuri lives among poor students who frequently indulge in fighting duels.
Yuri helps Albert in his plans to obtain a medical certificate of nervous breakdown advising rest for six months. He introduces Albert to Dr Ernest Weil and asks Albert to be frank with him. Dr Weil turns out to be a sympathetic soul and issues him the much-needed certificate. Yuri again guides the course of Albert’s ship of life. He advises Albert to obtain a written reference from the mathematics teacher before seeing the headteacher.
Albert follows his advice faithfully. The certificate, however, proves useless because the headteacher has already decided to expel Albert for his undesirable activities. This, however, does not diminish Yuri’s role in Albert’s life. He is like a pillar of strength to the miserable young Albert in a foreign land.
What stratagem (plan) did Einstein devise to stay away from school for six months? How far did he succeed?
Albert had told his father to take him away from the school. However, his father insisted that he should obtain a diploma first. Hence, he was unwilling to take Albert away from school. For Albert, staying at that school meant wastage of time and money. One day, he had a bright idea. He asked Yuri if he knew some friendly doctor. He could say that Albert suffered from nervous breakdown.
The doctor would certify that the disease was ‘bad for him to go to school’. They had to find a specialist in nerves. Albert began to look nervous and lost his high spirite Yuri fixed appointment with Dr Ernest Weil and asked Albert to tell him the truth. Albert was frank and truthful. He could enter some Italian college or institution at Milan without diploma. The doctor issued a certificate advising him rest for six months. The certificate proved useless as the headteacher was bent on expelling Albert.
I knew you were going to leave before you know yourself. Who said it and how did he know it? Substantiate with example from the text.
Mr Koch was Albert’s Maths teacher. He was genuinely interested in Albert. Yuri told Albert to get a written reference from him. He willingly gave Albert the reference he wanted. He made it clear that Albert was ready to enter a college or institute for the study of higher mathematics. Mr Koch regretted that Albert was leaving the school. His logic was correct. A reference is usually asked when one leaves. Albert is puzzled.
There are more surprises In-store for Albert. He is summoned by the headteacher before Albert’s request for Interview. The headteacher does not want Albert to stay there any longer. Perhaps the issue might have figured In the staff council. The Maths teacher was discreet. He did not reveal the confldentìal discussion. He gave plausible reasons for his observation.
Describe how the headteacher made it easy for Albert to leave school.
Albert wanted to remain away from the school. He got a medical certificate from Dr Ernest Well. It was certified that he had a nervous breakdown. So he must stay away from school. He wanted to see the headteacher. Next day the headteacher called Albert to his office.
He told Albert that his work was terrible. So he was not prepared to have him in the school. Albert asked if he should think he was to be expelled. The headteacher told him that if be left the school of his own accord, the question wouldn’t arise.
Albert asked what crime he had committed. The headteacher told him that the teacher couldn’t teach the class when he was in It. In his presence, the pupils coúldni learn. Albert wanted to tell the headteacher what he thought of him and the school, but he didn’t say anything. The headteacher asked him to close the door behind him. But Albert didn’t do so. Nor did he have the last look at his school. He met only Yuri.
Suppose you were the Principal of young Mbert’s School. What changes in education system would you like to Introduce to make it more effective, meaningful and purposeful?
If I were the Principal of Albert’s school, I would bring In drastic changes. I have a clear concept of education. For me. education means drawing out the best in the student. I’ll help to develop an individual’s personality by encouraging
the budding talent. I know that all are not cast In the same mould. Our old system talks of uniformity and average student level. These are abstract principles. Education will focus on individual’s aptitude and talent. There will be no cramming of facts, dates or multiplication tables.
The audiovisual devices will be used as aids to learning. Computer will supplement knowledge. I will provide more facilities for self-expression. The atmosphere of the school will be relaxed. I’ll act as a father figure – a friend, philosopher and guide rather than a tormentor. hope to inculcate values through examples of personal conduct.
Why was Mr Braun speechless for a few moments?
Mr Braun asked Albert in which year the Prussians defeated the French at Waterloo. Albert told him that he didn’t know. Mr Braun said that he had told them so many times. Albert told him that he saw no point in learning dates. These could be seen in books. This made him speechless.
How did the history teacher react to Albert’s replies? Will a modern student agree with the teacher? Why/Why not?
The history teacher felt amazed as well as annoyed at Albert’s stubbornness. It was because Albert challenged all the established norms of attaining knowledge. Modem students do not agree with the history teacher’s view. Education is not a mere acquisition of certain facts and their verbatim reproduction.
How did Albert hope to convince the doctor?
Albert declared humorously that he was going to have a real nervous breakdown. It would make it easier for the doctor to certify his illness. The next time Yuri saw Albert; he found that the latter had lost his high spirits. Albert confirmed that he would really have a nervous breakdown which would satisfy any doctor.
How did Albert hope to get admission to an Italian college without a diploma from the German school?
Albert hoped to get a testimonial from his mathematics teacher about his work. He had learnt all the maths that is taught at school and a bit more. He hoped that this certificate would help him to get admission to an Italian college without a diploma from the German school.
Albert Einstein at School Summary in English
Albert Einstein at School Summary:
The narrative begins with Albert being asked about a date by his history teacher. This was when he was very abrupt and crude in replying that he found it pointless to memorise dates when one could flip through the necessary pages whenever one needed to.
He believed in education but didn’t consider learning facts as education. He hated school because he hated the conventional form of education and the teachers found him to be a ‘disgrace.’ Finally, the ‘teacher, disgusted and fed up, asked him to be taken away by his father. Einstein also hated going home, not for the obvious reasons of bad food and lack of comfort, but because he hated the atmosphere of ‘slum violence’.
He was so against the idea of going to school and adapting to the set educational pattern that he once confided in his friend that he thought he would never pass the exams for the school diploma. He once told his cousin Elsa that he wanted to study science simply because he liked it. He didn’t need additional reasons to study the subject he was interested in. He was sent to Munich to study where within six months he grew disinterested and found it wrong to waste his father’s money, especially when it was so unfruitful and unproductive.
This was the moment of Albert’s childhood epiphany when he gleamed with a sudden bright idea of averting school forever. He asked his friend Yuri to search for a friendly doctor who would write him off as a lunatic at school. He wanted the doctor to certify him as a person suffering from nervous breakdown so that he could stay away from school. To this doctor, Albert revealed his love for mathematics and his maths teacher. Later, in school, he asked for a reference letter from his maths teacher. This is when he heard the most surprising comment from his maths teacher who said: “I knew you were going to leave before you knew yourself.”
Finally, the day when Albert was called by the headmaster he was not worried when this happened. However, he was taken aback when the headmaster said that he couldn’t tolerate Albert’s attitude towards education and his behaviour in the classroom which disturbed an ideal environment for studying. Thus, he wanted Albert to leave school. Albert felt the medical report burning a hole in his pocket.
He left the school where he had spent five miserable years, without turning his head to give it a last look. He felt like seeing only Yuri before he left Munich. Elsa was back in Berlin when he left. Yuri bade him farewell and wished him good luck.