Learning Versus Memorization
Story By: Sarah Hwang Editor: Angela Ahn Web Designer: Li June Choi
Due to the pressure of grades, many students have resorted to memorizing information taught in class, as opposed to genuinely learning it. A minute before the test, students will quickly memorize the material, however, once the test papers have been handed in, all memorized information is forgotten. This widely used studying tactic helps students pass their tests with high marks, however, it is not beneficial for the developing minds of students.
Of course, memorization is not necessarily bad. In fact, in some subjects, the tested material must be memorized and may be difficult to truly learn. However, it is when the students resort to memorizing definitions and answers, memorizing can be an issue. When students do this, they are only repeating information, testing their abilities to memorize rather than their skills to understand. In this case, students are not taking advantage of the education they are receiving.
In addition to not benefitting by utilizing the education they receive, students do not allow their brains to grow and develop. If students merely memorize, they can not improve their critical thinking and application skills, which learning and understanding helps them improve.
“It isn’t that important to know the facts if you don’t know how to use that knowledge,” Ms. Burns replied when asked about the importance of learning for the future. Students must take information learned or memorized and use it to solve real world problems. In order to do this, they must have developed critical thinking and application skills as opposed to a mastered skill of memory. It is crucial for students to have this skill as a learner. When students learn, they are able to do more than with just memorization and are able to understand and benefit more in the future.
Luckily, at SIS, students have teachers who help them to learn. Through various kinds of models, application activities, and projects, teachers help students take advantage of the education they receive. Although this may make certain classes more difficult, learning and understanding benefit students down the road as opposed to the short-term benefits of memorization.
It is not enough for only teachers to steer students away from memorizing materials. Students must also take an initiative to learn and make good use of the education opportunities they have been given in order to truly grow as a learner.