Does memorisation get in the way of learning? – Part 3

...to the real.

Yesterday I said that these were the main points in Ben Orlin’s article expressing concern that ‘memorisation might get in the way of learning’:

  • Some things are worth memorising, but others are not.
  • Knowledge matters – “even a head full of memorized facts is better than an empty one.”
  • Raw rehearsal is a memorisation technique, but not a very effective one.
  • Mnemonics are a better memorisation technique, but they still promote the memorisation of meaningless facts.
  • ‘Repeated use’ is a better route to memorisation, and one that he advocates.
  • ‘Building on already known facts’ is a second route to memorisation that he strongly advocates.

I started by arguing that memorisation is learning.  Remember the quote from Kirschner et al.’s paper: “If nothing has changed in long-term memory, nothing has been learned.”

Given then that some teachers express concerns regarding memorisation that are completely valid, I next looked at the…

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