General Question

flo's avatar

How else are students older or not, going to remember most things if they don't memorize them? See detail.

Asked by flo (12843points) 1 month ago

Do most things need to be memorized or not? How many things come naturally to most of us? How do you not have to memorize that water is H20 for example? Home schooling advocates say memorization is not good. What do they mean?

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19 Answers

Yellowdog's avatar

Rote memory is the most common method of teaching in schools, and it does have some merit. But it does not teach students everything, including how to think, or get immersed in the culture,

You can memorize the U.S. constitution, but not understand what it really means. Think about all the historic facts and even song lyrics you memorized but did not really have a clue as to what they meant. You can memorize how many tons of bananas come from each South and Central American country, but not really understand what the countries are actually like.

Advocates of home schooling often advocate experiences more integrated with life, and learn by doing, by exposure, to what they are learning—not just memorizing facts to be put down on a test,

flo's avatar

But the same with the traditional schools right? Isn’t that why they have school trips to factories, among other places for example?

Yellowdog's avatar

Yes, and writing essays, as opposed to memorizing the state capitols or presidents.

flo's avatar

Ok, so there is no difference between traditional schools and home schools?

stanleybmanly's avatar

Of course there’s a difference

Tropical_Willie's avatar

” Home schooling advocates say memorization is not good.”
Need source please @flo. ^^

YARNLADY's avatar

What? I’m a homsschooler of two generations and I don’t say that.

ragingloli's avatar

Whenever I memorised things for a test, the knowledge was gone just a few days later.
It is only a short term solution.

Inspired_2write's avatar

We had to memorize Religious questions and answers at 6 AM, BEFORE we could would be allowed to eat breakfast at 8 AM at an Orphanage where my sisters and I had stayed for five months while my parents were dealing with health issues and seeking employment in 1950’s era.

400 of us girls were lined up and only then given the questions and answers and while in line had to come up with the correct answer or placed back of the line to do it again and again.

Finally after a couple of months of this I answered correctly then asked the Mother Superior (superior?) what the question and answer was the day before…she could not remember!

I told her that we forgot as well, so why wake us up this early, why not let us stay in bed until just before breakfast, giving us time to wash up etc?

We were nothing better than robots repeating useless information just to keep us occupied.

No argument, and they adopted the new procedure and everyone was much relaxed and happier.

If one is NOT learning through memorization,then why use that strategy in the first place?

LostInParadise's avatar

Memorization of isolated facts serves no purpose. Things should be memorized in coherent units, with clear relationships between the different components. For example, people should learn that the fall of Constantinople preceded Columbus’ voyage to America. The conquest of Constantinople gave the Turks control of the trade with Asia, motivating Columbus to try to find a different route by sailing west .

YARNLADY's avatar

@LostInParadise Yes, I much prefer timelines with major facts and few minor details.

flo's avatar

But even if you understand it you still need to memorize things, etc. for tests things otherwise you fail. whoever says memorization is bad

johnpowell's avatar

When I was working at the theater we had a really tedious head projectionist. And when they agreed to let me train as a projectionist before I was allowed to touch anything I had to read through every manual for every piece of equipment. It was a good meter stack of manuals. And I didn’t really understand any of it.

I’m not sure if David just wanted to weed out the people that weren’t 100% committed. The good thing is I was able to read manuals in the break room during my normal usher shifts during down-time.

But the thing is I didn’t understand anything but I learned it existed. Like two years later our projector technician, “who was horrible at his job” came to replace a seal on the the shaft that went from the bottom-most input in the projector head to the motor. This went into a reservoir that must, at all times be submerged in oil.

Bob, the idiot, decided to just pull it apart one day and then think he could just wipe the gasket down and put it back together and it would fix the leak. NEGATIVE BOB. For some reason I remembered reading that if that part is pulled out the entire assembly must be replaced. But he didn’t believe me and ripped it apart when I was looking for the manual. The damn thing just dissolved and one of our biggest theaters was down for three days waiting for a replacement part.

I didn’t remember the details. But I remembered enough to know the knowledge exists and where to find it.

LostInParadise's avatar

@flo , Of course you need to remember things, but it should not be a matter of rote memorization. Things need to be understood contextually.

Here is another example. What is the chemical equation for photosynthesis? I can’t write the specifics without looking it up and I was never required to do so, but I can use reason to figure out the components.

Firstly, people should understand that photosynthesis is the same as respiration in the reverse direction. When we breathe we take in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is needed by plants to build carbon compounds, so that is obviously one component of the left side of the equation. We all know that plants need water, so it is not surprising that water is the other element on the left side. Plants will not grow without sunlight, so the equation requires energy. Now we piece things together to get CO2 + H2O + energy = some carbon compound + O2. Knowing this much makes it easier to memorize the specifics.

flo's avatar

@LostInParadise Please see @johnpowell. Most of us are not geniuses. Even geniuses need to memorize the vast majority of things.

flo's avatar

….Not just @LostInParadise almost? everyone in this thread, please see @johnpowell‘s excellent point. Maybe at the time of learning something it means nothing but if you have the theory in your head, at least it’s going to be available to be used. Otherwise it’s a scramble to just get the theory instead of getting on to solving the problem.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

If students want to learn then they will reach out to the librarian/teacher. School’s just need to expose students to different topics. Also to teach a basic level of knowledge. Edited No memorization needed unless it is a basic level or of personal interest to the student.

LostInParadise's avatar

@flo, Consider the last sentences that @johnpowell wrote.:
I didn’t remember the details. But I remembered enough to know the knowledge exists and where to find it.
What was important were not the details, but how various components of the required knowledge related to one another.

flo's avatar

@LostInParadise He memorized that it exists, and where it exists.

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