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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What Good Is Learning If You Don't Remember It

I had a paper published in Journal of Effective Teaching that I hope teachers will take a look at. It can be found on-line by clicking here.

Here is the abstract:

Teachers should emphasize the educational importance of understanding, but not at the expense of overlooking the importance of memorization skills. Currently, mainstream educational theory embraces such attributes as insight, creativity, inquiry learning, and self expression. But such emphases lead to a bias and under-appreciation of the role of memory in learning. Students cannot apply what they understand if they don’t remember it. Moreover, a good memory expands the repertoire of cognitive capabilities upon which new understandings can be developed and expedited. Effective thinking does not occur in a vacuum. I advocate adding another “R” to the “three Rs”: Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic, and Remembering. This paper attempts to show teachers how they can help students become better learners — and better thinkers — by improving their memorization skills.

Please comment.

1 comment:

  1. It is a very controversial text.

    I do not know the true reality of the U.S. but in Portugal the courses with higher notes are those of the human sciences, particularly medicine, pharmacy, biology and veterinary.

    If you look at all these areas and how the examinations are made for access to university, a common denominator stands out: a good memory!

    So my question is: Where is the professional vocation? The desire? The passion? The meaning of work life?

    Comes to my mind the history of the left and right side of the brain, one sees the result, otherwise the context!

    To paraphrase A.Einstein,

    "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

    Not disagree with the text itself, quite the contrary. I fully understand your thread. If we can have the creativity and memory,why just only have one?

    In this aspect i can not be more in agreement, a brain without memory is like a computer without the hard disk: obsolete!

    Daniel Castanheira
    Porto, Portugal,


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