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Teaira McBride

English 111

Marisa Enos

27 March 2017

Habits in Todays Society

There are many flaws in todays education system, many of these issues can be related

back to the habits that people have formed over the past years. Once people are set in their ways

it can sometime be difficult to change. This is because they have lived their whole life living a

certain way and acting a certain. Yes, there are good and bad habits and these affect how we live

our life. Habits relate to many aspects of our life. Some of the ways that habits influence life

include how our education has turned into what it is today, also language and how one is able to

communicate with another. Our society is always changing so it is crucial to dig deeper into

habits and how it affects ones everyday life. Many people have their own stance on this issues

and today this paper will address many of those viewpoints.

First of all, it is important to understand what habits are and initially how they are

formed. James VanderMey, Author of Remarks on Habit explains exactly that. Habits have so

much more control over our life then one might realize. He goes on to state that, a habit is a

tendency to act, say, or think a certain way (VanderMey 13). When we think about habits in our

own life we tend to only look at the bad habits that have a negative impact on our day-to-day

activities. As students, every one of you can probably think of some bad habits ---

Procrastination? Forgetfulness? Excessive worrying? (VanderMey, 13). Now when you heard

the word habit did any positive ones come to mind? For most of you, the answer to that was

NO. But in reality, everyone has good habits, even if one doesnt recognize them as such. Some
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good habits may include --- Being organized, thinking positive, planning things out and many

more if you just take the time to sit down and think about it. Students learn many habits while in

high school that arent always necessarily good habits when starting college. Iliana Miller, the

author of A Troublesome Threshold: Entering Academic Conversations addresses some

viewpoint and issues relate to habits and education. She goes on to say that, In Eng. 111, we

critically discuss students experiences in school, including their previous habits of mind and

how those might be a barrier to self-directed learning in college (5). Robert Leamnson, author

of The biological Basis of Learning also mentions how many college freshman have already

had at least nineteen years to establish habits. Leamnson goes on to say that, Some of what they

have learned, however, is counterproductive (Leamnson, 75). So now you are in college and

you think those habits are doing some good or that those bad habits will just go away and not

affect you, well, that is not the case. We look at are teachers and think they have it all figured

out. What some may not realize is that are teachers struggle at times as well. A somewhat good

habit can ultimately turn into a bad habit like it did for one professor while he was a freshman in

college. When I write a paper or speech, I read and read, explore and research, on and on, until

Ive run out of time to actually write the thing (VanderMey,13). That seems like a good thing,

doing all this studying and research, but if you dont manage your time it can backfire. While

one can see that the idea of what habits are is apparent, so is the fact of habits on a deeper level, a

more biological level.

There are also other points in these articles that speak about different factors that are

associated with habits. To truly understand habits, one must look in the brain and see what is

really going on. Leamnson and Miller both discuss the biological aspects when it comes to

learning and establishing good and bad habits. Many students have a hard time getting started
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and applying themselves in college, this can lead to the being worried and frustrated. Miller

thinks that, this is due in part, to the biological changes that occur in the brain when authentic

learning takes place --- New synaptical paths are formed and stabilized when they get used

repeatedly, (3). Leamnson makes a statement that connects everything together and relates back

to what Miller is saying. He further explains that, these axons make connections with other

neurons, but the connections, or synapses, are, initially, quite labile, meaning here that they

easily regress if not used (Leamnson, 67). This is very important when one looks at how

humans learn and form new habits. It also shows why practice is so essential in everything that

you do. The brain is a fascinating organ that is responsible for many actions and abilities that

humans todays possess. While the fact of how habits are looked at on a biological level is very

important, so is the relation to habits and language.

Language is very important in todays society, it helps define and progress mankind. The

way many use the skill of communication can in turn become a habit that becomes a part of who

you are. Paulo Freire, Author of The Banking Concept of Education Makes powerful

statements on language and what it means to him. The Author states that only through

communication can human life hold meaning (Freire 9). This has never been more true,

Language is essential in everyday life. One can only express their self as well as beliefs through

communication. In comparison, Miller addresses different viewpoints of language of are very

important. These ideas really do lead back to what Freire was saying. This idea is shown when

the author states Engaging in critical dialogue increases our cautiousness and awareness of the

forces that rule our lives. For our students, engagement in academic conservations is a step

towards acting on their own beliefs and an opportunity to relate their experiences and narratives

to what we are trying to teach (Miller 5). Its essentially important to learn how to communicate
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with one another. This is crucial in personal, business, and educational aspects of daily life.

When one works on these skills it will become second nature. While the idea of language is

apparent and important, so is how todays education system has suffered from habits passed down

through previous generation.

Jack Mezirow, Author of Transformative Learning: Theory to Practice and Paulo

Freire, Author of The Banking Concept of Education both mention many different types of

learning and education styles. Freire mentions controversial a learning style that we may not

even realize exist. Many dont see any problem with education today, but when you look closer

you can see the flaws. The banking method of education is a scary situation and Im afraid to see

where it will lead to if nothing is done about it. The author goes into more detail saying that,

education thus becomes an act of depositing, in which the students are depositories and the

teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiques and makes

deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize and repeat (Freire 1). This statement is

a big realization that our world faces, especially within the public-school system. Things need to

be more like the Problem-Posing Method of education. It is hard for people to change when that

is how things have always been. This relates back to habits and how its not always to easiest to

change. The Problem-Posing puts a lot of emphasize on creativity.

Creativity is a part of our personal identity and people should respect it. All of these

authors discuss creativity and individuality as well as its importance. Mezirow talks about

transformative education in his writing. This can relate to Freires problem-posing method. In

both of these they view creativity as being extremely important. In relation, learning contracts,

group projects, role play, case studies, and simulations are classroom methods associated with

transformative education (Mezirow 91). These activities can promote creativity within us. It is
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sad though that there are people in the world that want to control us and take those things away

from us. The capability of banking education to minimize or annul the students creative power

and to stimulate their credulity serves the interests of the oppressor, who care either to have the

world revealed nor to see it transformed (Freire 2). It is crazy how things change when we

become educated. This is now a habit that is having negative effects on our life. Sir Ken

Robinson, Author of Changing Education Paradigms talks about that of divergent thinking. He

then goes on to say that, divergent thinking isnt the same thing as creativity. I define creativity

as the process of having an original idea that has value. Divergent thinking isnt a synonym but

its an essential capacity for creativity (Robinson 7:46). This is something that we are all born

with. Its a great thing but it mostly deteriorates as we get older. Most of the people in todays

society need to re think their priorities. It is important that we form and strengthen new habits

surrounding todays education system. The truth is that the current education system was

designed and conceived and structures for a different age (Robinson 1:48). People try to do

things in a way that it used to be done but realistically that just doesnt work. Today our world is

more stimulating than ever, so that must be taken into consideration when we look at different

styles of teaching.

From the reading above one can see how important habits are in todays society.

Everything from our personal, business, and educational life can be related back to and

influenced by habits. Once habits are made it can be hard to change or alter them. This is

especially true in education, for example all of the habits we learn in high school. They really

can hamper the growth of a student once they get into college. Many others things surrounding

habits were addressed as well. In reality the most important way to get a better understanding on

habits is to look at it on a biological level. As VanderMey said a habit is a tendency to act, say,
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or think a certain way. One must strengthen their positive habits and eliminate the bad habits

before it is too late.


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Works Cited

Freire, Paulo. The 'banking' Concept of Education. N.p.: n.p., 1970. Print.

Leamnson, Robert. Biological Basis of Learning Todays First-Year Students. Exploring

Connection: Learning in the 21st Century. Pearson education Inc., 2016. pp. 65-73

pp. 73-85.

Mezirow, Jack. Transformative Learning: Theory to Practice. Exploring Connection: Learning

in the 21st Century, Pearson, 2016, pp. 86-93.

Miller, Iliana. A Troublesome Threshold: Entering Academic Conversations Exploring

Connection: Learning in the 21st Century. Pearson education Inc., 2016. pp. 3-6.

Robinson, Sir Ken. Changing Education Paradigms RSAnimate, www.theRSA.org

Oct 14, 2010

VanderMey, James. Remarks on Habit. Exploring Connection: Learning in the 21st Century,

Pearson, 2016, pp. 12-17.