Ask Why – Memorization

Who doesn’t remember the experience of cramming for a test—and then forgetting it all as soon as the test was over? And yet, for generations, this has been a core feature of school experience and expectation.

We all make assumptions about the way learning in school is organized. When we pause to ask why, we can learn from students and educators who are advancing new and different visions. Take, for example, our notion that rote memorization is a good strategy for learning.

Given how the world has changed, how useful is this approach to learning now? In a world where information is at our fingertips, how might our approaches to learning need to evolve?  

The good news is there are already hundreds of public school communities and districts around the country reimagining what education can look like when you shift away from rote memorization and towards updated teaching methods and the integration of learning and developmental science.

Let’s consider how schools and policies could be remodeled to match the wisdom and need of the modern era. What does it look like when school and educators focus not just on basic principles and concepts, but also on the application of knowledge in new and complex situations?

That work requires us to examine our assumptions about school.

This film is part of a four-part series, co-produced by ATTN and 180 Studio, that is designed to invite us all to “Ask Why.”


Tweet it: Why are students still assessed by memorization? That’s just not the way the world works outside of school. #FutureforLearning

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