Inflexible knowledge is a necessary first step towards understanding.
Following on from my previous post, I’d like to take a look at this post by Ben Orlin, and use it as a lens to focus the discussion. Orlin echoes, I think, the sentiments of many a teacher out there, so this should serve as a good opportunity to discuss many of the common worries around memorisation in education, as well as some misconceptions about how memory works.
First, just to be clear, Orlin defines memorisation as ‘learning an isolated fact through deliberate effort.’ This is quite different from the way I used the word in my previous post. I’m not sure whether I would personally agree with that definition, and I won’t be able to stick to it here because I want to be able to talk about the idea of knowledge being ‘memorised’ to refer to the state of…
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