Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations

Essay by JP1000Junior High, 8th gradeA, November 2008

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Of the many skills humans possess, the Habits of Mind are the ones humans need the most. When confronted with problems, humans tend to use habits of mind to overcome difficult situations. Though there are various resourceful Habits of Mind, applying past knowledge to new situations is one of the most vital.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.” Being one of the greatest authors of all time, Emerson had high prestige and intellect. Though he might not have noticed, his words encompassed the most important Habit of Mind. As Emerson said, “life is a succession of lessons.” Humans live their lives everyday learning, changing, and even adapting to the circumstances and problems they encounter. By learning lessons in our everyday lives, we are able to grow and apply our past knowledge to new situations. This may include trying new things or solving problems that we have never seen before.

In chemistry, applying what you already know is an essential skill needed to succeed. If you are faced with a problem you have never seen before, you must be able to use all your past knowledge and the lessons you learned from previous problems to answer the new ones you encounter. For example, if you learned about the positive and negative charges of a magnet and why opposite poles attract, you should be able to use that knowledge of magnets to answer problems such as why certain atoms stick together at certain places. Though these are two very different problems, the concepts are essentially the same. By living your life as a succession of lessons, you may truly be able to achieve things you never thought possible.

Bibliography“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to...