Memorization and Bashing of Formal Education

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I have read many articles — too numerous to mention — bashing focus of education on memorization. You would think from all of these articles that all teachers ever demand from students in school is memorization. Now, I know some school systems are not as good as others, as such may be characterized by inordinate focus on memorization. The fact of the matter is, however, that the capacity to retain information is an important component of knowledge acquisition and protection. Without training ourselves in retention of knowledge via development of our memory function — an objective requiring of training in memorization — our capacity for retention of knowledge is weakened.

Consider that a married man with four children thinks about finances, keeping his wife happy, taking care of his children, loving his children uniquely in context of their specific differences, building work related relationships, building family related relationships, recreation, exercise, work, volunteer coaching of his children and other kids at say, soccer, this after an exhausting 8 hours at work, promotion, income, maintaining a home, yard work where applicable, knowing which neighbors enjoy been greeted, and which would rather you bugger off etc.

If the mind is not prepared, such that it possesses intrinsic capacity for retainment of knowledge, all of life’s challenges later in life can weaken capacity for application of knowledge.

Only knowledge that is remembered can be applied.

Phone numbers are valuable, yes, but they never have to be applied, are data points, not knowledge. I never attempt to memorize a phone number. My mind needs that space for more valuable stuff. I always can look up a phone number. If I remember a phone number it is because I use it frequently.

Memorization of valuable knowledge serves to safeguard us much later in life when the mind is weighed down with challenges of life.

Education is supposed to achieve many objectives, such as development of innovative mindsets, and development of analytical or critical capacity. Development of memory is as important an objective as the other three seemingly more glamorous objectives. After all, what good is analytical or critical capacity or innovativeness of mindsets if we lack capacity to remember principles we need to apply in course of demonstration of stated glamorous capacity?

As an educator with over 15 years of post PhD experience, I dare say many persons writing about education do not have a proper understanding of purpose of each stage of education. For an article which addresses some of the objectives of each stage of education, check out this Medium post by my good self.

For those who understand its purpose, its how, its ethos, formal education possesses tremendous value for enhancement of life.

With all of your getting of formal education, or giving of formal education to your children or others, let not the objective be deficient of love of reading.

In all of your getting of formal education, let love of reading be of paramount importance.

Written by

Educator and Researcher, Believer in Spirituality, Life is serious business, but we all are pilgrims so I write about important stuff with empathy and ethos

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