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Do School Children Memorize Today? S/O Sorta

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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
Replies (21-30):
by Ruby Member on Feb. 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM


Quoting momtoscott:

 My son's music classes require memorization of scales, marching band music, etc.  His Spanish class requires memorization of new vocabulary every few days.  He is in public school. 

 Yes, of course, band and foreign language also.

by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 12:32 PM
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Part of their presentation was researching and presenting the person along with their works. They learned quite a bit as did I in helping them. Memorization alone may not he useful immediately, however along with researching and presentation it is immensely useful in life.

Quoting MeAndTommyLee:

Simply memorizing a poem is useless and  trite if you can not comprehend it.  Poems and literature were written to convey the thoughts of their authors and be analysed.  Criticalthinking skills come into play here.  I don't believe schools are teaching anything beyond memorization.  

Hope your children do well in their presentations.

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.


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by Ruby Member on Feb. 19, 2013 at 12:44 PM

 Being able to memorize information without knowing how to apply that information is useless.  Example,  my kids school has students learn geography by being able to draw a map and label all the countries, and for the US, all the states and capitals.  So they are not only memorizing names of countries, states and capitals, they know where they are located on a map.   

Quoting eema.gray:

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.  




by Platinum Member on Feb. 19, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Mine certainly do. 

by Platinum Member on Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Yes they do. There is so much useless crap that my daughter is required to memorize.  She is in a catholic school this year and has a morality class.  I helped her study for her midterm and the stuff she had to learn was just unbelieveable, the fact that it's not just a fluff course is just insane.  Nope, the teacher takes the class very seriously even though she can't control the class long enough to teach a lesson. 

by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 2:15 AM
Sometimes memorization is a bad thing. It's gets you through but you don't make the jump to converting from short term to long term memory. Although I remember doing it in elementary and it was effective.
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by Satan on Feb. 20, 2013 at 3:03 AM

This made me once again appreciate just how much dd12's psycho super strength memory facilitates her schooling. I think I'll point it out to her again tomorrow. If I remember.

by Bronze Member on Feb. 20, 2013 at 3:44 AM

I can only remember having to memorize one thing in school, and it was in 11th grade English.   We were studying Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, and we had a choice of what to memorize:  the first 2 verses of the prologue in Middle English, or the full prologue in modern English.  Here's a link that shows them side-by-side.  Almost everyone in the class, myself included, chose the 2 verses, thinking it couldn't be that bad.  Ugh, were we wrong!  The pronunciation was really difficult to get right, and we had to in order to get a decent grade on the assignment.  I studied that stupid thing until my head was throbbing.  I finally nailed it, and I got an A.  To this day, I can still do the first 4 lines, and that class ended 11 years ago.

by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 6:25 AM

 My kindergartener does. They try to say she's not memorizing. They present it in a manner to say she isn't memorizing things but it's still memorization no matter what they call it today.


I don't know why but there has been this push over the last few years to avoid trying to get kids to memorize things. They are still memorizing. People just don't want to call it that.

by Member on Feb. 20, 2013 at 7:05 AM

My younger son is taking Latin and there is a lot of memorization associated with that.

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