A regimen of low-stakes testing in class – and self-quizzing (reciting notes from memory) while studying – vastly improves learning outcomes and makes high-stakes testing far less daunting.
So says professor Henry L. Roediger III, author of "Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning" and an intriguing NYT article on the subject.
This certainly reflects my own experience as a student and teacher. The effort required to recall information does seem to exercise critical brain functions, improve intelligence, and promote academic success in a number of important ways. Well-established learning models like SQ3R and Cornell Notes are classic implementations of this idea.
Though out of fashion pedagogically for some time, memorization is an essential element of learning and an important part of what students should be doing during school hours and while studying at home.
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