Mrs. Vance Goes To School

Learning and Teaching with Technology

Archive for March, 2008

Joy Vampires

Posted by MrsVance on March 19, 2008

Vampire Bat
Justin. “Vampire Bat.” Flickr. 03Jan2006. Flickr. 19 Mar 2008 .

Yesterday on the New York Times Freakonomics blog, Stephen Dubner asks, “How can the U.S. black-white achievement gap be closed?” I am not sure any clear answers emerge (better preschool preparation, longer school day/year and merit pay for teachers are some proposals that may have supporting data.)

But what caught my attention was the the statement by Andrew Rotherham, co-director of Education Sector and a member of Virginia’s Board of Education, that “good teachers teach; they don’t resort to drilling kids, rote memorization, or other strategies that suck the joy out of learning.”

What exactly does it mean to say that “good teachers teach”?

Is rote memorization never a good learning strategy?

Should students never be drilled?

I have seriously missed something. There is a wide-spread consensus (at least in the edublogosphere) that rote memorization is bad. I just am not sure why. Certainly it should not be the only learning tool employed. But it is one learning tool with which students should be familiar and able to utilize.


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Memorization: Lost Art or Useless Skill?

Posted by MrsVance on March 10, 2008

Emotiv HeadsetSwift, Thor. “emotiv_15.jpg.” fickr. 13June2007. 10 Mar 2008 .

Recently I began a graduate program in Education. In the next few weeks I will begin a project investiging the following question…

In a world in which students have ubiquitous access to computing power and connectivity/bandwidth is it redundant for students to memorize any information? Or in such an environment is memorization even more necessary so that students can compare (and thus validate) what they find on the WWW and beyond?

I could really use some feedback on the structure of this question as well as links to any well reasoned arguments on either side.

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