NY times posted the following article.The article claims that,
“Taking a test is not just a passive mechanism for assessing how much people know, according to new research. It actually helps people learn, and it works better than a number of other studying techniques. “
After laughing I continued to read on.The above statement is supported by
“students who read a passage, then took a test asking them to recall what they had read, retained about 50 percent more of the information a week later than students who used two other methods. “
Alas, the research opens the reality doors.Of course, if you are asking students to only RECALL information, it makes sense that they more they see a certain topic the more they will understand.I don’t want my students to recall information I want my students to understand concepts.
According to Jeffery Karpicke, “I think that learning is all about retrieving, all about reconstructing our knowledge”.This is the idea that understanding is the outcome of memorization.
I disagree greatly!Memorization should be the outcome of understanding. Recalling information will become easier as the students use the knowledge more and not because of force or requirement.If I was to tell you a fact over and over again, would you understand why the fact is true?Students should be told the why part, and after understanding it and applying the “why”, the memorization will occur.
Understanding will always last longer in a mind than memorization.