What is learning? – Part 2

...to the real.

Clearly, I was being ‘ambitious’ when I said ‘tomorrow’!

But doesn’t this lead to a risk of rote learning?

Only insomuch as there’s ever a risk that any given teacher will promote knowledge acquisition that is rote in nature.

In an earlier post I talked about Ben Orlin’s criticism of mnemonics.  One example always stuck with me:

 “We could teach that during the civil war, ‘Maryland was a part of the union because marriage is a union.’  The mnemonic is easy to remember, but provides no understanding of the situation….”

I don’t know much about US history.  It’s with the greatest of ironies that, in speaking with friends about this example, I have always first used Orlin’s mnemonic to recall the states to which he was referring, and that they were a part of the union, and then used that recalled knowledge as a cue to remember the reasons…

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About Kris Boulton

Teach First 2011 maths teacher, focussed on curriculum design.
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1 Response to What is learning? – Part 2

  1. Pingback: Blogs for the Week Ending 1st June 2014 | The Echo Chamber

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