Learning and Remembering

If, as educators, we want our students to learn more and remember more of what we teach doesn’t it become imperative that we pay more attention to the processes? Don’t we need to understand more about how the memory works and how we get to do real learning? To a layman I suspect that the affirmative answers to these questions would be so obvious that they would wonder whether the questions really merited asking.

However, those of us in education know that, in reality, educators tend to give very little thought to how memory and the learning process work. Therefore, i’m always very pleased when i come across evidence of peers who are addressing these issues. Here’s a TedX video from an event at The cooper Union, a college in New York:

Exposure to material on learning and memory was one of the motivating factors for my professional shift in to the field of education. What I came to know in my mid to late 20s troubled me because i was mystified by the dislocation between this kind of knowledge and the day to day practice of what goes on in classrooms the world over.

One of the most powerful experiences was reading "Accelerated Learning" by Colin Rose which included a chapter with details and graphics related to the wonderfully named "Ebbinghaus Curve of Forgetting" (see an example here: Ebbinghaus) and, perhaps, more interestingly ways to overcome the impact as a learner. Still, to this day i struggle to understand why this isn't a major focus of educators' attention.


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