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Islamizing the taleem ….. – 52 (Perception mechanism – March & Simon’s model part 3)

7 Dec

(My dialogue through email with a group on the Topic: Islamizing the Taleem and Tarbiyah of our children)

Assalamu Alaikum,

We are discussing different models relating to the concept of perception which will show the extreme, rather vital importance of perception in the process of education of human beings.

Here is a summary of March and Simon’s Perception Model:MARCH & SIMON MODEL

Every person develops an internal state (mental structure) which is the product of her/his learning process and it is obvious that the lessons acquired by one person can differ markedly by lessons acquired by another person. One’s culture is an extraordinarily effective teacher. This internal state consists of a person’s beliefs/value system, previous experiences.

One important thing to realize is that since there is much more information available in the environment than a person’s brain can handle or process, a person has to accept only that information which s/he believes is more important for her/him, and the rest will be discarded. Now what is more important will be decided by the persons perception of what is more important and what is less. This process is continuously going on when the person is awake.

Now we look at this theory from the Islamic perspective. We take an example here: if a person unconsciously thinks something is more important for him than command of Allah subhana-wa-ta’ala, automatically he will register that first and the command will not take the priority, and may not even be registered by his brain. Depending upon how many things have priority before him as compared to that command. If there are a few things he may register the command but it will not be his priority, but if many things precede the command, Allah’s command may not even be registered. We can see that happening quite frequently in us and other people around. Now if her/his perception is correctly developed and s/he has very clear and correct prioritization, the person will automatically take the command as top most important. It is here that I feel the education has to play role to create correct perception or thought structure.

The March and Simon’s model is quite descriptive and speaks of many aspect related to perception which I have not discussed here. If any one likes to discuss it further s/he may discuss that separately with me. Here in our discussions I have tried to present this model as simply as possible.

We are discussing different theories on what perception/ thought structure/ amal e idrak/ zehan/worldview etc. is and how is it affected?

Recollecting from our previous discussions, it is this faculty of perception (or what ever you like to call it),  which is most affected in education. And this faculty of how we look at this world and what meaning we make out of it will decide and dictate what to believe from our hearts and how to behave here in this short life. This thought structure is of prime importance in our lives.

Also I am sure you will agree with me that real belief does not come from just saying it with tongue, or keeping a superficial belief. A belief has to be conviction from ones heart and it has to be exhibited in ones actions. If we believe in one thing and our actions show that we are actually impressed by another idea which is quite contrary to Qur’anic injunctions and teachings, doesn’t this indicate that in fact our belief is corrupted or that we do not carry the belief in our hearts. Is this not happening presently. Why is it happening? This is what I am trying to explain by all this exercise. Unless we understand the process of learning and how the learning is effected we will not be able to understand where we are making this big and fatal mistake. Nor we will not be able to device a way out.

In my next mail I will discuss about the worldview theory by Dr. Alparsalan Acikgenc, a Turkish scholar.

Will appreciate participation from the audience.

Br. Abid