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Do School Children Memorize Today? S/O Sorta

Posted by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 10:07 AM
  • 37 Replies

The article about the geneticist and intellegence made me think about something.

When I was in school, we memorized stuff regularly and often.  I would venture to guess that by high school, the memory averaged out to 2 items a month that had to be memorized and presented to the teacher either orally or written on a test.

Do schools cultivate the skill of memorization today?

Do you think the skill of memorizing and recalling helps to exercise the brain and improve information retention?

"I am only one, but I am still one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." ~~ Edward Everett Hale 1822-1909
by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 10:07 AM
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Woodbabe
by Woodie on Feb. 19, 2013 at 10:12 AM

My kids are all out of school but I don't recall them doing it. The last time I can remember having to do that was in 6th grade speech class...I Can Not Go To School Today...I had to memorize it and say it to the class!

They don't even teach cursive handwriting at most schools anymore because it's too hard.....

eema.gray
by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 10:17 AM
1 mom liked this

:-(  If my kids wind up in schools that don't teach cursive, I'll teach them myself.

Husband and I have been having lots of conversations about after school/home work strategies when the kids don't bring home homework or during school breaks.  Memorization of facts and figures is at the top of my list, along with handwriting work, and other stuff I am sure I will think of in the meantime.


Quoting Woodbabe:

My kids are all out of school but I don't recall them doing it. The last time I can remember having to do that was in 6th grade speech class...I Can Not Go To School Today...I had to memorize it and say it to the class!

They don't even teach cursive handwriting at most schools anymore because it's too hard.....



"I am only one, but I am still one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." ~~ Edward Everett Hale 1822-1909
Euphoric
by Thumper kid spanks on Feb. 19, 2013 at 10:23 AM

 I'm not sure, my kids aren't in school yet.

eema.gray
by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 10:25 AM

My oldest starts next fall.  School is very much on my mind these days.  :-)


Quoting Euphoric:

 I'm not sure, my kids aren't in school yet.



"I am only one, but I am still one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." ~~ Edward Everett Hale 1822-1909
12hellokitty
by Platinum Member on Feb. 19, 2013 at 10:29 AM

It seems schools focus more on kids presentations being in PowerPoint.  

stormcris
by Christy on Feb. 19, 2013 at 10:35 AM
2 moms liked this

Any time you take a closed book test memorization is being used. 

Rote learning or memorization or learning by heart is great for the arts. When you use it for instance to play a piece on the piano a deeper process and connection is being used. It exercises the mental, emotional and physical levels of the body to brain connection. Memorization of times tables does not have the same effect. Memorization of a poem or literature work is more aligned with the piano playing though because there is a flow with it.

The emphasis placed on memorization of large quantities of information as it applies to school work is not particularly good for the brain. It teaches little of the underlying process and does not connect the materials to the deeper levels of memory. There is no rhyme or rhythm to much of what is expected to be memorized for tests. It does very little for information retention.

My thoughts if you want to exercise the brain do it via the arts. However, even then it has to be refreshed every so often or it will not be retained eventually. 

rfurlongg
by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 10:36 AM
My kids are only in 1st and 2nd but so far both have had to memorize several poems and present them orally. My youngest is presenting several Langston Hughes poems today and my oldest will be quoting several phrases from Mae Jemison on Thursday.
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eema.gray
by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 10:39 AM

I'm not anti-tech at all and I definitely think tech can be of huge benefit in the classroom.  I'm sure that in form or another, children "memorize" their 1 plus 2's and times tables but what about the Declaration of Independance?  Do children still learn it and recite it now?  At any point are they asked to memorize the text of their 5 minute Speech Class presentation or pick a poem out of the Lit book and memorize it for their teacher?

There are a number of teachers in my extended family.  The impression I've gotten from them is that "rote work" doesn't teach critical thinking and since critical thinking is, on paper, strongly encouraged, rote work is not.  Personally I think it's easier to think critically about something you know well enough to recite but that's just me.  :-)  I also think that storing and recalling information exercises the brain matter and that's always a good thing.

Quoting 12hellokitty:

It seems schools focus more on kids presentations being in PowerPoint.  



"I am only one, but I am still one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." ~~ Edward Everett Hale 1822-1909
eema.gray
by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 10:42 AM

I love Langston Hughes.  :-)  Such a bright, eloquent voice

Quoting rfurlongg:

My kids are only in 1st and 2nd but so far both have had to memorize several poems and present them orally. My youngest is presenting several Langston Hughes poems today and my oldest will be quoting several phrases from Mae Jemison on Thursday.



"I am only one, but I am still one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." ~~ Edward Everett Hale 1822-1909
Bieg9093
by Bronze Member on Feb. 19, 2013 at 10:44 AM

What they taught me in teacher school (early 90's ) is that we don't require so much rote memorization anymore because it's bottom of the pyramid-low level thinking.  Sure it looks like the kids are learning a lot, but do they understand it?  Will it stick?  Me...I'm the kind of person who can memorize all sorts of crazy shit just long enough to ace a test, but I forget as fast as I learned.  There are many like me.

So we quit making kids memorize all sorts of other stuff that they could just look up instead...like state capitals. Now there's more learning about state capitals and learning research techniques for looking up info and map location.  When we learn about state capitals today, we compare and contrast them.  We read about their histories and then answer "why" questions.  I consider it a step forward.  Really...the only reason to memorize the names of each state's capital is for the sake of knowing it.  It's not information that is needed for future learning.

Of course, as with most good ideas, it kinda went too far.  Like with basic math facts.  There's a LOT less time spent memorizing tables in 2nd-4th grade which, in turn, makes math a real pain in the ass in every other grade up, unless kids can use a calculator.  I'm not a fan of having a whole generation that can't accomplish a little long division without a calculator.

And, the skill of being able to memorize stuff...it's a handy skill to have.  And it's the kind of thing that requires practice in order to grow into a strong and reliable skill.  Just memorizing spelling words isn't enough.  I think it's time to tip the scale back just a bit.

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