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They argue that memorization exercises the brain and even fuels deep insights.
Memorizing a list of prepositions isn't half as useful as knowing what role a preposition plays in the language. Months later, standing on a rocky, storm-swept beach, I found that I could recite the poem by heart. Like mnemonics, this technique relies on connections and associations.
But here, the connections emerge naturally from the material.
The little ones we teachers write and give, every day and week.
If you wanted to design a system of testing that catered to rote short-term memory, you'd struggle to improve on the classic model--the high-stakes, time-pressured, single-unit, in-class exam.
It's a detour around all the action, a way of knowing without learning, of answering without understanding.
Memorization has enjoyed a surge of defenders recently.If you are not good at theorems and their proofs, you may need support when doing linear optimization homework.The good news is that support with solutions is available at many places including at your school and online.To learn it in isolation is like learning the sentence "Hamlet kills Claudius" without the faintest idea of who either gentleman is--or, for what matter, of what "kill" means.Memorization is a frontage road: It runs parallel to the best parts of learning, never intersecting.But when you Memorization's defenders are right: It's a mistake to downplay factual knowledge, as if students could learn to reason critically without any information to reason about.But memorization's opponents are right, too: Memorized knowledge isn't half as useful as knowledge that's actually understood.What separates memorization from learning is a sense of meaning.When you memorize a fact, it's arbitrary, interchangeable--it makes no difference to you whether sine of π/2 is one, zero, or a million.More than any other battleground, this conflict plays out in tests.Not the controversial behemoths forged in our state bureaucracies.