I still remember some of the mistakes I made when Mrs. Barton drilled us in multiplication tables in 3rd grade, over 30 years ago. Drill and kill? No, drill and skill.
Memorization has long been out of vogue in the education establishment, and therefore many students aren't regularly tested for simple recall of new material. Teachers often emphasize learning methodologies like class discussion or concept mapping over factual recall, with the expectation that the former activities promote deeper learning that is superior to rote memorization.
But a new study finds that teachers who don't provide students frequent opportunities to practice retrieving information from their memories are denying them a valuable learning tool. It turns out that tests or other forced recall exercises aren't just passive evaluation tools. They actually help people learn, and are more effective than a number of other common study techniques.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
There's nothing wrong with so-called rote memorization. I don't think I should have to familiarize myself with all the gauges and procedures in my car every time I sit in it. Some things are best learned to automaticity: